About us

The Centre for Corporate Reputation is an independent research centre within Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. We aim to understand how the reputations of corporations and institutions are created, sustained, enhanced, destroyed and rehabilitated.

Research and teaching

Our research draws upon the wider resources of Oxford University. We teach a course in the school’s MBA curriculum, underpinned by academic research but including contributions from leading figures in the business world. We also contribute to the executive education programme and host conferences and seminars.

Our people

We are fortunate to have the support of an outstanding group of International Research Fellows from academic institutions around the world as well as many distinguished Visiting Fellows from business, the media and other organisations. 

Introduction to our centre

People talking

Our research

Man in a classroom

We produce academic papers, contribute to journals and business media, and publish case studies, some with teaching notes, as well as producing a termly in-house magazine.

Our work is rooted in the following core themes:

  • Reputation is relational: firms do not own their reputations – these are owned by others. Corporations and institutions can influence this, but they do not control it.
  • Multiple reputations: organisations do not have a single reputation; they  have a reputation for something with someone, which can mean several different, even competing, reputations. There is no single measure of reputation.
  • Reputation intermediaries: reputations are influenced in different ways and to differing degrees by intermediaries, including the media, regulators, ratings agencies and professional advisers.
  • The importance of reputation lies in its signalling power: in the absence of full information, it can create enduring - and distorted - perceptions.

Maryland-Oxford Brand Reputation Tracker

A joint initiative in partnership with University of Maryland's Center for Excellence in Service

The Brand Reputation Tracker analyses and models data drawn from Twitter to track customer perceptions of different dimensions of brand reputation over time. The tracker creates reports on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis to get ratings of leading companies on various dimensions of brand reputation. The data can be used as a basis for academic publications related to brand reputation but also provides valuable managerial insight into brand reputations over time.

Published papers

Reputation and identity conflict in management consulting

  • Based on a case study of a large consulting firm, this article makes two contributions to the literature on reputation and identity by examining how an organisation responds when its identity is substantially misaligned with the experience and perceptions of external stakeholders that form the basis of reputational judgments.

Sorry to (not) burst your bubble: the influence of reputation rankings on perceptions of firms

  • We measure the influence of reputation rankings on individuals’ perceptions of firms. Through experimental design, we vary whether and how participants are exposed to a reputation ranking alongside other information about a firm. We find that rankings influence perceptions when they are negative and congruent with other information about the firm. These findings help explain how a firm’s reputation can change even if its characteristics remain constant and why change in a firm’s characteristics can be slow to produce change in its reputation. 

Norm diffusion and reputation: the rise of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

  • Transparency in the extractives sector is widely seen as an important tool for improving accountability and deterring corruption. Yet for those very reasons, it is a puzzle that so many governments in corruption-prone countries have voluntarily signed up to greater scrutiny in this area by joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Cheap talk? Strategy presentations as a form of chief executive officer impression management

  • We develop and test a set of hypotheses on investors’ reactions to a specific form of impression management, public presentations of overall strategy by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). Contrary to expectations from a "cheap talk" perspective, we suggest that such strategy presentations convey valuable information to investors, especially in conditions of heightened information asymmetry associated with varying types of new CEOs. Broad empirical support for our theoretical arguments is shown in a sample of strategy presentations carried out by NYSE and NASDAQ-listed organisations over 10 years. Our research contributes to literature on new CEOs and impression management. We draw out implications both for management and for further research.

 

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