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Relationship outcomes as determinants of reputation

Peggy Simcic Brønn (Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 16 October 2007




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the basis of reputation building through a relationship approach in order to demonstrate that quality of relationships is a determinant of reputation.


The research was conducted on three groups of stakeholders from a collection agency (a typical outsourcing firm) over a period of two years. A questionnaire was developed based on the work by public relations researchers on measuring relationship outcomes. Analysis consisted of descriptive statistics with means and standard deviations. A correlation analysis was performed to investigate the possible effects of a number of the questions on reputation.


The findings from the study showed correlations between a number of the statements measuring the relationship outcomes and the firm's perception among its stakeholders. The most important finding in this study was the significant correlation between the firm's treatment of its clients' customers and the impact on the clients' reputation.

Research limitations/implications

While it has been used by researchers in at least three countries without discussion, the questionnaire's Norwegian translation is a challenge. The relationship described in this paper between a debtor and a collection agency is also unusual.

Practical implications

Results indicate that the quality of a firm's stakeholder relationships can impact customer image. For this reason, firms need to allocate resources for corporate marketing strategies across stakeholder groups.


This research adds to previous corporate identity research and provides valuable insight into the dynamics of an outsourcing relationship.



Simcic Brønn, P. (2007), "Relationship outcomes as determinants of reputation", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 376-393.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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