Advising the Practitioner: How Academics Can Shed Light on the “What, How, and Why of Corporate Responsibility”

Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:151-156 (2007)
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Abstract

Theorists and practitioners in the fields of both Corporate Responsibility and Corporate Reputation have recently stressed the importance of taking a stakeholderperspective when researching the nature, development and impact of these concepts. While models of Corporate Reputation, such as the Reputation Quotient and SPIRIT were developed by actively engaging stakeholders in research, models of Corporate Responsibility have been developed in a more theoretical manner. There have thus been calls for the research approaches taken in reputation research to be applied to the field of responsibility. This paper answers these calls and thereby provides two related outcomes: First, a conceptualisation of Corporate Responsibility is developed that draws directly upon stakeholder perceptions (in this case customers and employees of a financial institution). Secondly, a comparison between this conceptualisation and two existing models of Corporate Reputation is conducted. A formal comparison between the model of Corporate Responsibility developed in this paper and the RQ and SPIRIT models of Corporate Reputation suggests that there are considerable similarities between stakeholder conceptualisations of responsibility and models of reputation.Stakeholders may therefore not view responsibility separate from reputation, but rather as a largely overlapping concept. Questions about the causal relationship between the two concepts are also discussed

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