Social determination of reputation: a research in Turkish context

Çalışkan, Mehmet Ali
Today, the proliferation of social communication channels and the rapidization of communication cause fast dispersion of information and interpretation of social, cultural and economic developments. Therefore, societies interact with organizations not only through products and services, but also through image, visibility, perceptions, rumors, etc. Organizations have to develop reputation policies; they have to measure, track and manage their reputation. The most important element of an organization’s reputation management is the ability to see its current reputation standing and make proper projections. Reputation measurement studies aim to achieve that. However, these studies usually focus on the perceptions and assessments of organizations’ characteristics and performances. There are social dynamics and social identities, which are constituted independent of what an organization is and does, and they are influential on reputation. Ignoring this would lead to a blurry picture of reputation. Social issues and developments operating independent of the organization, but are related to its products/services, do have impact on people’s assessment of reputation. This study focuses on the significance of the social determination of reputation. It claims that socially influential discourses like health, anti-Americanism, environmentalism, along with political or cultural identities, act as a filter for people’s evaluations of companies’ reputations. Individuals, when they give reputation scores to companies, not only consider their characteristics, products or services, their size, internationality, etc. but also evaluate companies’ identities, their positions with respect to social issues related to their products/services. Individuals also evaluate reputation according to their own habituses, their political and cultural identities.