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Concept of reputation: different perspectives and robust empirical understandings

Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb
Publication Date
  • Ugled
  • Fombrun
  • Društveni Kapital
  • Ekonomski Kapital
  • Simbolički Kapital
  • Kulturni Kapital
  • Reputation
  • Fombrun
  • Social Capital
  • Economic Capital
  • Symbolic Capital
  • Cultural Capital
  • Economics


The concept of reputation was introduced to management literature from sociological literature on impression management. Fombrun developed an understanding of reputation in business by introducing several aspects of corporate reputation. However, attempts at making it all-inclusive resulted in the concept becoming unusable as it is not possible to distinguish it empirically from other related sociological concepts. Moreover, its measure lacks validity and reliability, thus making the concept of reputation empirically impossible to use. This contribution aims at understanding the concept of reputation by analyzing the items used to measure it, along with the related concepts of economic, symbolic, cultural and social capital – which characterize every entity in its context. Thus, in this contribution the concept of reputation is drawn back to its sociological roots. Results indicate that, once different capital forms are controlled for, reputation reflects output quality and an entity’s capability to deliver such output in the future.

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