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Title: Forecasting the impact of sustainability issues on the reputation of large multinational corporations
Author: Brady, A. K. O.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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This research examines the future relationship between sustainability issues (Environmental Protection, Social Capital and Economic Growth) and the reputation of large Multi-National Corporations (MNCs). The thesis begins by taking a detailed look at both the academic and practical realms of corporate sustainability and corporate reputation management. This examination results in the generation of a series of hypotheses. These hypotheses are then tested using an innovative scenario based survey instrument. This survey placed the respondent in three different scenarios of the future business climate and asked them to consider the respective importance of seven elements of reputation to the preservation of a positive corporate reputation (within their own company). The survey was mailed to the CEOs of the worlds largest 500 companies - The slightly modified use of Dillman’s Total Design Method (TDM) resulted in a usable response rate of 34%. The results suggest that when placed in an environment where they have to take the long-view CEOs are perfectly placed to acknowledge the importance of sustainability issues to the maintenance and generation of reputational value. When this long-term business case for sustainability is coupled with the already quite robust short-term business case the benefits of corporate engagement, both tangible and intangible, become very clear. The challenge is clearly to facilitate long-term thinking within the boardroom. With this in mind I present three key strategic directions for business; I argue that only one of them, engagement, will result in a growth in intangible value. The thesis concludes by highlighting six transitions that I argue business will need to negotiate to fully capitalise on the - now acknowledged - intangible, reputational opportunities that sustainability presents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available