Reputation Belongs In More Strategic Decision Models (and Some Data to Measure It)

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Organizational reputation is compelling to layman audiences, it is critical for firm performance and myriad organizational phenomena, and recent theory articulates how it shapes the very managerial discretion underpinning strategic decisions. Yet, reputation is still excluded from much of mainstream strategic organization research. We make the case for reputation’s wider inclusion in studies of managerial discretion or strategic decision making. We first demonstrate reputation’s potential theoretical importance in explaining nuances or non-findings in such studies, detail ways to measure reputation accurately, provide five sources of data for readers to facilitate the inclusion of reputation in their studies, and illustrate how scholars can use freelancers to collect their own archival data for their own, context-specific purposes. By shedding light on reputation’s unique role in shaping managerial discretion and, thereby, strategic decisions, we hope this essay helps scholars better account for decision-making patterns that might otherwise defy the predictions of other organizational theories.

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Strategic Organization

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