Title: Corporate reputation as strategic competitive advantage of manufacturing and service-based firms: multi-industry case study

Authors: Alan D. Smith; William T. Rupp; Darlene Motley

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3099, USA ' Austin Peay University, Clarksville, TN 37044, USA ' Department of Management, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3099, USA

Abstract: The present study focuses on corporate reputation from a resource-based view (RBV) theoretical viewpoint as an intangible strategic asset. Although empirical evidence is very sparse on the subject and relatively immature at this stage of development, best business practices dictate that a favourable reputation is positively associated with future financial performance. However, having a sterling company reputation is not only beneficial to a firm's strategic position in a tight economic marketplace, but it may contribute to a firm's sustainable competitive advantage. Dominion, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Fifth Third Bank provided excellent examples of how a manufacturing and service companies' reputation grants them competitive advantage over rival firms. As with any strategic asset, such as product and service reputation, the present case study provided evidence that there is a positive association with firm performance and the proper management of this asset. A properly nurtured and maintained reputation is valuable, typically rare, and imperfectly imitable, as defined by RBV theoretical assumptions.

Keywords: business strategy; case study; consumer behaviour; corporate reputation; resource-based view; RBV; service management; social responsibility; manufacturing firms; service firms; firm performance; services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2013.051826

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2013 Vol.14 No.2, pp.131 - 156

Published online: 30 Aug 2013 *

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