Reputation Management in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Inhaltsangabe:Abstract: Protagonists like Bauhofer proclaim Reputation Management as "the strategic asset in the competition of the 21st century". Fombrun observes that since the last decade intangible assets like patents, technology and reputation got more and more into the business focus. Assuming that the reasons for that are similar, he concludes that they enable companies to create competitive advantages. This gains in importance due to increasing competition in global companies as well as in saturated markets. Despite of being an apparently new topic reputation is not new at all. Taking a closer look reputation is even as old as humankind is: Every single person has a reputation. It makes us more predictable for others, which is a necessity for a running society. Reputation is transferable on organisations, institutions and companies of any size because all of them are characterised by being an artefact of a group of people with similar interests or aims. The roots of Reputation Management go back to the year 578 when the first known company, the Japanese building company Kongo Gumi, started its business by being asked to build a temple. At this time there was no competition in a present sense and the detailed circumstances cannot be reconstructed any more, but it is obvious that this company was ordered due to reasons which convinced the client that they have the potential to make it. More than a millennium later, in 1766, Adam Smith observed two important things in trade: First, cheating is not profitable because one single cheat costs more contracts than it is possible to win at the same time. Second, the disposition to cheat a customer depends on the frequency of deals they make together. Smith recognised that there is a correlation between the behaviour of traders and their economical success which both are dependent from the amount of information exchanged. With this observation, he laid the cornerstone for Reputation Management. However, it took more than 200 further years until the subject came up on business agendas. Up to the fifties, the SELLERS' MARKET situation in western industrialised countries did not request to take much care about reputation issues. Companies were busy to distribute their goods and satisfy basic customer demands. This situation lasted during the following two decades although competition increased and customers became more selective. The eighties finally rang in a paradigm shift. Globalisation was [...] Robert Burkhardt, born 1969, management consultant and computer scientist. MBA with distinction 2007 at Institute for International Management Consulting, Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences. Professional experience in consulting and management positions since 1992.
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