Praemia Virtutis Honores? The Making of Global Reputations and the False Promise of Meritocracy

Global Aspects of Reputation and Strategic Management

ISBN: 978-1-78754-314-0, eISBN: 978-1-78754-313-3

ISSN: 1064-4857

Publication date: 16 July 2019


This study reviews the academic literature on global reputations and its implications for meritocracy. Over the years, systems of measuring and visualizing reputation have proliferated globally with organizations competing for talented employees, clients, and resources in a situation of limited supply, resulting in the emergence of reputation systems as a device to position businesses in the international market and to contend cross-nationally for prestige. Yet, the tangible utilities of these systems for promoting a meritocratic culture remain contested. Notwithstanding their utility as cognitive heuristics, global reputation systems can distort information and become dysfunctional when consumers embedded in vastly different cultures and institutional environments navigate these systems. This chapter identifies gaps in extant knowledge and suggests number of ways of improving our theoretical and analytical frameworks on the association between reputation and meritocracy. Specifically, it advances the concept of “reputation work” to understand how reputations are built, evaluated, maintained, communicated, consumed, and deconstructed and calls for attention to each of these dimensions to forge a stronger coupling between reputations and meritocracy.



Nath, S. (2019), "Praemia Virtutis Honores? The Making of Global Reputations and the False Promise of Meritocracy", Global Aspects of Reputation and Strategic Management (Research in Global Strategic Management, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 167-184.



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