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Measurement and Management of Chief Executive Reputation

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Richard Rinkenburger

Whereas the importance of CEO reputation has increased over the last years, only very little scientific research has been conducted. This thesis addresses the vagueness of past conceptualizations by providing a well-founded theoretical background, the development of a reliable and valid measurement model of CEO reputation as well as the validation of identified relations to its antecedents and consequences. An empirical online study was conducted among students of the university in Munich to validate the CEO reputation model. Using PLS path modeling, the analysis provides evidence for the impact of CEO reputation on several outcome variables (e.g., corporate reputation) and confirms different influences of the identified antecedents on CEO reputation. Thereby, practitioners can get valuable implications for the management of chief executives’ reputations.

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2 Theoretical background:Definition, antecedents, consequences, and a structuralmodel of CEO reputation

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7 2 Theoretical background: Definition, antecedents, consequences, and a structural model of CEO reputation This chapter approaches CEO reputation by theoretical considerations and recent work in literature. Chapter 2.1 presents a definition of chief executive reputation with a clear differentiation to similar concepts such as identity and image. Then, potential consequences and antecedents of CEO reputation are gathered and systematized (chapters 2.2 and 2.3). Finally, the relations between CEO reputation, its drivers, and its outcomes are hypothesized and transformed into a path model in chapter 2.4. 2.1 Developing a definition of CEO reputation The development of a structural model of CEO reputation requires a clear comprehension of the construct under scrutiny. Often, a good reputation refers to several expressions, ranging from favorable regard to public esteem or from general credit to purely the good name. Terms like image or prestige are often used synonymously for reputation. Common dictionaries define reputation as “beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something” (COMPACT OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY 2009). This short introduction in the variety of possible understandings of reputation illustrates one of the obstacles in this research field: the absence of a precise, commonly accepted definition of chief executive reputation in management literature (BARNETT ET AL. 2006). In order to remedy this theoretical vagueness and to provide a generally acceptable and theoretically well-founded definition of CEO reputation, the now conducted literature review does not only consider given definitions of (chief) executive or leader reputation (chapter 2.1.1), but will also extend this...

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