Marketing and Public Relations

Reputation Management

Organizations interact with various stakeholder groups, both internal and external, and the interactions challenge organizations to consider who they are and how they represent themselves. In other words, organizations are, or at least should be, concerned with issues of intrinsic identity (what they stand for) and reputation (how they are perceived). This course examines how to manage identity and reputation as assets so that, over the long term, they will contribute to the growth and viability of the organization, as significantly as any asset might. The course also examines how identity influences the ways in which organizations represent themselves to the various constituencies, and how identity is influenced by interactions with the groups. While a good reputation cannot be built, or at least sustained, unless the organization does good things, reputation is a function of communication as well as performance and behavior¿so all three have to be managed consistently and well. In combining theoretical foundations with a case-study approach, students will be encouraged to examine issues of identity, representation and reputation critically and analytically. The case study approach will include organizations with the best and worst reputations. Among the organizational reputation cases examined in class will be: the Apple iPhone 4 problem; BP oil spill in the gulf, Pepsi syringe hoax; Firestone-Explorer tire crisis; Prudential insurance fraud; General Motors Dateline NBC Truck Explosion controversy; and the Toyota recall. We will examine organizations with exceptionally strong intrinsic identities including Starbucks and the Mayo Clinic. Cases will include several European and Asian firms.
Course Number
Associated Degrees