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Customer-based corporate reputation of a service firm: scale development and validation

Walsh, G. and Beatty, S. (2007) Customer-based corporate reputation of a service firm: scale development and validation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35 (1). pp. 127-143. ISSN 0092-0703

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Although corporate reputation has attracted significant attention among marketing scholars, current measures of it do not adequately capture the perceptions of the most important stakeholder group, customers, and often overlook its relationship to important customer-outcome variables. In this article, we identify dimensions of customer-based corporate reputation and develop scales to measure these dimensions (Study 1). Based on comprehensive validation procedures across three service firm types, we found support for a five-dimensional scale with the following dimensions: Customer Orientation, Good Employer, Reliable and Financially Strong Company, Product and Service Quality, and Social and Environmental Responsibility. In Study 2, using a second sample, we validate our scale and examine its relationship with important customer-outcome variables-customer satisfaction, loyalty, trust, and word of mouth. Most of the reputation dimensions were strongly associated with important outcome variables, with a few exceptions. We discuss the results with reference to the marketing implications.