Toward a Better Understanding of Organizational Efforts to Rebuild Reputation Following an Ethical Scandal

Journal of Business Ethics 90 (4):453-472 (2009)
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This article explores the issue of rebuilding an organization’s reputation following an ethical scandal. We divide our discussion into four parts. First, we discuss the concept of reputation. We note its relevance to today’s organizations, offer several contemporary definitions along with highlighting its benefits and downsides. In the second section, we offer the work of anthropologist, Victor Turner, on social drama along with other views on organizational efforts to rebuild their reputation to include reputation management routines. In the third section, Turner’s redressive actions are integrated with Edgar Schein’s leadership mechanisms for building or changing culture to provide further understanding of organizational efforts to rebuild reputation following ethical scandals. Finally, in the fourth section of the article, we extend the integration of the Turner and Schein work with single- and double-loop redressive actions for rebuilding reputation.



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Ronald Sims
College of William and Mary