Keeping score: the challenges of measuring corporate reputation

Oxford University Press
Publication Type:
The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, 2012, 1, pp. 34 - 68
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While corporate reputation's (CR) benetlts arc known and lauded, its nat ure as an intangible asset causes its measurement to remain elusive. We describe methodological issues faced by CR researchers, including the thorny issues of construct definition, conceptualization as a formative and/or reflective construct, item breadth, sampling frames, scales' psychometric properties, and their appropriateness for measurement across industry, national, and ownership contexts. We also discuss the appropriateness of various methodologies such as survey, content analysis, and archival data. Vie then review the most visible academic and practitioner quantitative measures of CR from Fortune's "America's Most Admired Companies" to the Reputation Institute's RepTrak Pulse that have been published by consultants or business media outlets in over fifty countries. Overall, CR measurement has improved, providing better tools for both academic research and practice. We emphasize the need for multiple methodologies to facilitate triangulation, and conclude with suggestions for future operationalizations of corporate reputation.
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