Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

If You Want a Good Reputation: Start building relationships

04.06.2008
There is ample evidence that focusing on relationships has a payoff for reputation, writes Peggy Simcic Brønn, researcher at BI Norwegian School of Management.

It seems that everyone wants to measure reputation. Countries, cities, companies, the public sector—you name it, they all want to measure their reputation.

The interest in reputation seems to have risen exponentially in the past few years, fueled in part by the proliferation of reputation rankings, including RepTrak, and those done by internationally by Fortune, Forbes and the Financial Times, among others, with their rankings of the best places to work and the world’s most admired firms.

However, some academics in corporate communication and public relations have despaired that all of the focus on reputation and image may detract from the primary responsibility of these functions — building relationships. The value of relationships includes the value of reputation.

The idea of relationships
Yet the idea of relationships and their importance does not seem to have taken root in the public relations/corporate communication consulting and practitioner arenas. Some believe that this is because of the massive attention paid to reputation and the belief that communication functions have abandoned relationships in favor of reputation management.

Marketing, with its attention to customer relationships, has somehow managed to bridge the gap between academia and practice. The volume of literature on relationship marketing and customer relationship management is enormous. The topics of customer satisfaction and barometers for measuring it are easily found in academic literature and research and in practice by firms and consultants alike.

Obviously, a major reason that relationships caught on so successfully in marketing is that customers and their satisfaction and loyalty have direct and sometimes immediate effects on a company’s performance. Additionally, they are relatively accessible, and measurements of their satisfaction and impact on an organization’s performance are pretty straightforward.

Challenges for Communication
Communication managers have much greater challenges than marketers.
For one thing, they are concerned with all the stakeholders of the organization.

Second, some of these stakeholders are people with whom the organization might not want to enter into a relationship at all, much less a long-term one, which is the primary goal of marketing.

The challenge is convincing firms and consultants to shift their focus from reputation to relationships. By concentrating on relationships, reputation will follow. However, proving this to management can be difficult.

Walking into a boardroom and convincing executives focused on bottom-line results that they should invest in relationships that at some time in some indeterminate future will affect their reputation can be career hara-kiri.

But practicing customer relationship management alone is just not sufficient for today’s organizations. All organizations need to engage in stakeholder relationship management. This entails taking a stakeholder approach, recognizing the vast numbers of constituencies of an organization and the mutual impact each has on the other.

Some researchers claim that:

1) establishing and nurturing stakeholder relationships lessen shareholder risk,
2) innovation is often a result of the strong relationships with and between employees, and with supply chain and business alliance partners,
3) resources and information necessary for the development of new markets and opportunities comes from networks of relationships, and

4) a good reputation and enhanced brand value are the result of relationships.

Successful relationships
Four outcomes have been identified as good indicators of successful relationships; trust, control mutuality, commitment and satisfaction. These are defined as:
Trust, one party’s confidence in and willingness to open up to the other party, measured by; Integrity – the belief that an organization is fair and just, Dependability – the belief that an organization will do what it says it will do and Competence – the belief that an organization has the ability to do what it says it will do
Control mutuality, the degree to which parties agree on who has rightful power to influence one another;
Commitment, the degree to which each party believes and feels that the relationship is worth spending time and money on; 1. Continuance commitment – a certain line of action
and 2. Affective commitment – an emotional orientation
Satisfaction, the degree to which each party feels favorably toward the other because positive expectations about the relationship are reinforced.

If measuring relationships is to catch on, it must make the jump from academic research to practical application. There is ample evidence that focusing on relationships has a payoff for reputation. Good relationships don’t happen overnight, and maybe that’s the problem. Firms are just not willing to invest in the effort.

Reference:

This article is based on the article: Brønn, Peggy Simcic (2007): “Relationship outcomes as determinants of reputation”, which received the Emerald Literati 2008 Award as one of three highly commended papers in Corporate Communications: An International Journal.

Audun Farbrot | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bi.no

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>