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Corporate reputation: Seeking a definition

Wilson, A.M. and Gotsi, D. (2001) Corporate reputation: Seeking a definition. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 6 (1). pp. 24-31. ISSN 1356-3289

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This article reviews different viewpoints in the marketing literature in an attempt to clearly define the concept of corporate reputation and identify its relationship with corporate image. Definitions offered for the term corporate reputation by marketing academics and practitioners are therefore merged into two dominant schools of thought. These include the analogous school of thought, which views corporate reputation as synonymous with corporate image, and the differentiated school of thought, which considers the terms to be different and, according to the majority of the authors, interrelated. This article argues that on balance, the weight of literature suggests that there is a dynamic, bilateral relationship between a firm's corporate reputations and its projected corporate images. Future research is therefore encouraged to explore how corporate reputations influence and are influenced by all the ways in which the company projects its images: its behaviour, communication and symbolism.