The purpose of this paper is to summarize previous research findings of the relationship between reputation and sustainability at the firm level.
This research uses a systematic literature review of 306 retrieved articles that matched the search criteria. After applying filters and narrowing the sample to a total of 156 articles of a 19-year period (2000–2019) that were finally content analyzed for this study in order to identify sources, authors, theories, methodologies, and opportunities for future research.
Findings demonstrate that in most of the cases, sustainability appears to be an antecedent of corporate reputation and a tool to enhance stakeholders' acceptance and perceptions on companies' activities.
The study shows the potential of sustainability reporting as a tool to enhance corporate reputation; moreover, it also discussed the likely effect of sustainability over brand equity. This research confirms the importance of having strategic management of both corporate sustainability and reputation management. Including both reputational management and sustainability in the corporate strategy can be a potential source to create value, protect against difficulties and liabilities, and maximize business survival.
For business, establishing clear positions in relation to environmental and social issues, building collaborative global networks and authentic local relations, giving signals that reaffirm business purposes with all stakeholders, and adhering to the sustainable development agenda enhance positive corporate reputation.
In addition to answering the stated research question and in fact filling a gap in the literature, this study led us to identify 25 research questions classified in seven different areas (measurement and scales; causes and effects; longitudinal studies; geographical contexts; theory building; digital as a novel environment; and new actors and institutions).
Gomez-Trujillo, A., Velez-Ocampo, J. and Gonzalez-Perez, M. (2020), "A literature review on the causality between sustainability and corporate reputation: What goes first?", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 406-430. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-09-2019-0207Download as .RIS
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