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Reputation & NGOs Workshop: How do organizations build robust reputations?

How do prior cross-sector interactions with a scandalised company affect an NGO’s performance and reputation? When does a stakeholder attack become a reputational crisis? These were the questions asked in the fourth session of the Reputation and NGOs workshop, by Mary-Hunter (Mae) McDonnell and Witold Henisz, respectively.

Reputation & NGOs Workshop: What are the challenges in generating trust for NGO brands?

The two papers presented in this session raise very interesting questions about the emerging set of tools for reputation building – whether they are rankings or commitments to standards or reporting mechanisms. Such tools are likely to spring up in response to the demand to build reputations, but some are more robust than others. The Burger and Owens paper, which looks at NGO performance on funder-required reporting, can be looked at in the wider context of the transparency agenda which has gained momentum over the last 20 years. The paper by Linardi et al raises a similar issue, using the experimental tools of behavioural economics to look at motivations and commitment to sharia banking. Both demonstrate that when social norms change and a particular behavior pattern emerges as socially desirable, organisations or individuals may be tempted to fake their commitment to complying with the norm so as to build a certain favourable reputation.

Reputation & NGOs Workshop Opening Plenary: How do NGOs think about reputations?

“Reputation is shorthand. Audiences are busy, so this is critical.” said Jack Lundie, Communications Director for Oxfam at the opening plenary of the Workshop on Reputation and NGOs. Leaders from Amnesty International, Oxfam, and INTRAC shared their thinking about the challenges NGOs face managing their own reputations in today’s turbulent, ever-shifting environment. Recurrent themes included their preoccupation with accountability, impact, and risk, the latter particularly in regard to collaborations.

Oxford Workshop on Reputations & NGOs

From July 15-17, scholars will convene at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School to discuss different dimensions of reputation as it relates to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The workshop will be hosted by the Centre for Corporate Reputation. Examining both advocacy organizations in particular and non-profit organizations in general, scholars from a variety of disciplines will join NGO representatives at the workshop to discuss and debate two core themes: How might reputation serve to regulate NGOs, and what are the reputational dynamics and consequences of NGO-firm interaction?

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