n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - A customer-based corporate reputation scale : a study of a clothing retailer's customers




Corporate reputation is an intangible multi-stakeholder concept resulting from the perceptions that diverse stakeholder groups - such as customers and suppliers - have of a firm. Stakeholders' perceptions of corporate reputation are formed by different expectations of and experiences with a firm. Therefore, the dimensions that constitute corporate reputation can also be expected to differ among different stakeholder groups. The continual measurement of the dimensions relevant to a particular stakeholder group is important to detect areas that need timely adjustment.

The primary objective of this study was to validate the shortened version of the customer-based corporate reputation (CBCR) scale of Walsh, Beatty and Shiu (2009) on a sample of customers of a national clothing retailer. The findings only support two of the five dimensions of the scale, namely 'customer orientation' and 'a reliable and financially strong company'. Both these dimensions are strongly associated with outcome variables such as 'trust', 'loyalty', 'repatronage intention' and 'overall reputation'. The secondary objective of this study was to investigate respondents' awareness of the retailer's involvement in social responsibility programmes. It was found that many of the retailer's customers who participated in the study were unaware of the retailer's support of social causes. The study concludes that caution should be exercised when scales measuring corporate reputation are used in an environment dissimilar to the one where the scale was originally developed.


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