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Toward a Theory of Reputation in Organizations

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1432-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-497-3

Publication date: 28 August 2007


In everyday life, as well as in work organizations, we engage in frequent and quite comfortable discourse about the nature of reputations, and wealso see personal reputation used as a basis for important human resources decisions (e.g., promotions, terminations, etc.). Unfortunately, despite its recognized importance, there has been very little theory and research on personal reputation in organizations published in the organizational sciences. The present paper attempts to address this need by proposing a conceptualization of personal reputation in organizations. In this conceptualization, reputation is presented as an agreed upon, collective perception by others, and involves behavior calibration derived from social comparisons with referent others that results in a deviation from the behavioral norms in one's environment, as observed and evaluated by others. Implications of this conceptualization are discussed, as are directions for future research.


Zinko, R., Ferris, G.R., Blass, F.R. and Dana Laird, M. (2007), "Toward a Theory of Reputation in Organizations", Martocchio, J.J. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 163-204.



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