Bolstering Corporate Reputation
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CORPORATE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Bolstering Reputation through Overall Management
NUNO COELHO MARTINS
Corporate Reputation Management (CorRM) is giving its first steps towards actually and
convincingly becoming a new insurmountable part of management philosophies. Its input should be
hold in high regard whenever taking decisions foreseen to have a strategic impact.
With the present document I will be defending the importance of Corporate Reputation
Management in the management of companies and its most important areas of action.
I present the Company Structure, the Top Management Team (TMT), Marketing and Crisis
Management teams as being the four areas which are ultimately responsible for the Corporate
Reputation through the strategies they choose to follow. I defend that nowadays good corporate
communication alone cannot create good reputation anymore. News travel fast and when a negative
event occurs fast reaction from Crisis Management Team behalf is required. Such reaction will
depend on how the company is structured and of who is part of the TMT. These two areas are
directly responsible for the creation of a Crisis Management Team.
On the end, this project defends that for companies to maximize their Corporate Reputation value,
and inherent benefits, they should embrace new managerial philosophies, such as: Agile & Scrum
Management (generally used for product development), Lean methodologies (for operational
management) and bring them together with the use of Crisis Management and Marketing with
Meaning ( MwM )concepts. All together, these are intended to cast influence across the structure, a
structure much leaner and flexible; with strong focus on strengthening its identity as much as its
Keywords: corporate reputation, identity, image, Marketing with Meaning, MwM, structure, TMT,
Top Management Team
CorRM Corporate Reputation Management CR Corporate Reputation CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility
HNWI High Net Worth Individuals LOI Letter of Intent MENA Middle East and North Africa MwM Marketing with Meaning
PR Public Relations SAV Savanza Inc SEF Savanza Educational Foundation TMT Top Management Team TP Technology Pioneers WEF World Economic Forum
Figures & Graphs list
Figures and graphs can be found as part of ANNEX a) under the denomination Figure 1, Figure
2 and Figure 3.
FIGURE 1 - Graph taken from Corporate Reputation Management Master class group work
presentation. Case: Research in Motion. Complete work presented as ANNEX /b)
FIGURE 2 The corporate Personality Scale (Davies et al., 2001)
FIGURE 3 The Reputation Quotient (Fombrum et al., 2000)
FIGURE 4 Stakeholders Theory ( Donaldson & Preston)
One wonders where problems germinate from when they do so. When in a company we are
expected to avoid them and if they sprout we are expected to minimize their damages. Minimizing
damages is not the only thing to be done as actions must be taken in order for the same problem not
to arise again in the future. Why is this? All problems affect the companys image and when the image is hurt, the business itself will bleed. The reputation of a company is one of its own most
important assets and as such proper Reputation Building and Management is critical.
Corporate Reputation Management (CorRM) is giving steady steps towards convincingly becoming
an integrant part in the decision making process, as its important input shades over and across the
whole structure of the organizations.
I am proposing that CorRM becomes an integral and critical part of any management philosophy
and operational procedures used by organizations.
I present 4 main pillars as the building blocks for running a company maximizing its Reputation
while pursuing their financial objectives; the Company Structure, the Top Management Team
(TMT), Crisis Management team and Marketing with Meaning (MwM) philosophy.
Nowadays, good communication alone cannot create a good reputation anymore. News travel fast
and when something disruptive happens the reaction of the Crisis Management Team must be fast.
Such reaction will depend both on how the company is structured and on who is part of the TMT.
These two areas are directly responsible for the existence of the Crisis Management Team.
For companies to maximize the value of their Corporate Reputation they should embrace new
operational management philosophies as: Agile & Scrum Management (generally used for product
development), Lean methodologies (for operational management) and bring them together with the
Crisis Management concept and MwM. Bringing these together we will be able to easily adapt and
implement new philosophies such as the latter one. All together, these cross-functional teams will
drive an organizations reputation to grow on a sustainable way and to have its image strengthened and revenue increased.
Corporate Reputation Management shall take on tasks such as; studying, analysing and acting upon
a number of cross-functional activities which are part of the companys environment. It focuses both on the Costumer perspective (Image) as well as the Employees vision (Identity). Having a clear and bright image of both fields Image & Identity - is very important for a company strategy to be set and for Reputation to be strongly built.
On the Costumer perspective the main goal is centred around Increasing Satisfaction, Loyalty and thus way Revenue, not forgetting about gaining leveraged positions with further external stakeholders as being shareholders/investors and suppliers. On the other end, the concerns with
Employees fall within the inner need to keep them on acceptable levels of Satisfaction with the aim
of increasing the Retention rate. A good company Identity will as well help in attracting the best and
Corporate Reputation shall always be taken into account on any important strategic decision and for
such it will have to, on a wider or skewer extent, analyse and provide input or guidelines for several
different areas/departments as are: Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Marketing,
Sales and Quality Control.
CorRM should be an important part in the running of companies as is already in the running of
ones personal life. How a crisis period can affect a company and how it should be dealt with, how the TMT psychological traits affect a company and Lean management is driving companies towards
transparency. Such transparent management methods can only affect positively a companys image and identity and therefore, the Corporate Reputation.
Experience shows us that most companies do not have a Corporate Reputation Management
department, or even a clearly identified responsible person for the area on the company structure.
Some companies have executives whose functions revolve around reputation management, though
not usually understood as such as per their duties agreement. The World Economic Forums (WEF) ex-COO was one of those cases that, besides his operational management obligations, was always
trying to improve some process or communication guideline in order for WEFs reputation to be constantly strengthened.
So it should be safe to say that organizations with professional management levels are doing this by
always morphing, allowing the company structure to constantly adapt to the ever changing market
conditions. Such assumption would, as a matter of fact, be wrong and the study "Does Management
Really Work?" - HBR, November 2012, Nicolas Bloom, Raffaela Sadum & John van Reenen)
backs it up. 8000 companies were analysed in 20 countries throughout 8 years to conclude that most
do not set "Targets", "Incentives" nor "Monitoring" procedures. These 3 procedures are an integral
part of the philosophies that I present as being the way for an organization to be managed through a
path that will lead to an optimization of the value of its own Reputation. Reputation is built from the
inner sphere of the company towards its stakeholders. Companies that were assessed by the HBR
team into using simple Lean methodologies had a 50% reduction in miss-development of product,
productivity increases of up to 20% and 10% increase in output.
Bearing such data on mind I present SCRUM management as a process which would minimize
bad management as the product/service/project development process would constantly find flaws (from product characteristics to market characteristics), if existing, and correct them. Empirical
proofing will be generated by this process in order to constantly adapt work and operations of
SCRUM management is a form of organizing work by breaking it down in tasks, with closed loop
cycles with daily reporting in order to better control the achievements and obstacles. It all starts
with an ideaa request, in product development: feature request. It can be presented by a team member, costumer or company executive. This request is submitted under a form in which it clearly
states: who will benefit from the feature, the feature and the benefit (eg: As a ROLE I want FEATURE so that BENEFIT). If accepted it becomes known as a user story (USt) and the collection of all USt is known a product Backlog.