This dissertation studies the dynamics behind sudden, negative shifts in the corporate reputations of business firms, through three independent but related papers, a phenomenon that we refer to as a reputational crisis. This issue is of critical importance because the corporate reputation of a firm is one of its most valuable but potentially volatile intangible resources. Therefore, a better understanding of the situations where business firms suffer significant reputational losses within relatively short periods of time can contribute to both strategic management and business and society. From a strategic management perspective, the examination of sudden major losses in corporate reputation is an examination of the loss of what is potentially one of the most important intangible firm resources, if not the most important intangible resource of the firm. While, from a business and society perspective, an examination of sudden drops in corporate reputation could reveal the reputational impact that such sudden events have in the network of stakeholders (Freeman, 1984) who surround the firm and are, in a sense, the 'evaluators' of its reputation. / The first paper of this dissertation consists of a theoretical exploration of the management of reputational crises caused by sudden and unexpected incidents like industrial accidents, scandals, and product failures. Drawing on the stakeholder and crisis management literatures, a model useful in providing a better understanding of reputational crises is developed. The second paper is an empirical investigation into the impact that accidents can have on the corporate reputation of business firms. More specifically the impact that a number of accident characteristics have on the reputational re-evaluations of two particular stakeholder groups, industry executives and financial analysts, is investigated with data drawn from Lexis-Nexis and the America's Most Admired Corporations (AMAC) survey of FORTUNE magazine. Finally, the third paper of the dissertation examines the Brent Spar controversy to investigate two issues of importance in the management of reputational crises: the reasons behind a company's decisions to buffer or bridge when faced with a reputational crisis; and, the role of stakeholder salience in this decision.
|Phillips, Nelson (advisor)
|Library and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
|Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
|Doctor of Philosophy (Faculty of Management.)
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|alephsysno: 001747901, proquestno: NQ64709, Theses scanned by UMI/ProQuest.
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