module specification

MN6055 - Managing Corporate Reputation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Managing Corporate Reputation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Group presentation
Coursework 70%   Individual report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Monday Afternoon
Spring semester City Monday Morning

Module summary

Maintaining a strong corporate image is a strategic priority for most CEOs.   Organisations who enjoy a strong reputation in the market see this as a competitive advantage and crucial to improving financial returns, shareholder value and improved competitiveness. External forces, often globally driven can quickly change the way stakeholders view the organisation, often as result of sudden, often unforeseen and relatively unmanageable forces, leading to destabilisation, leadership change and a fall in market value. Understanding and managing corporate reputation is complex as it is not just the responsibility of the corporate communications team, or the CEO it is the responsibility of all employees. This module explores the importance of reputation, what it is, why it is managed it, how it affects the organisation and how it may be perceived by an often complex group of stakeholders.    

Module aims

To provide an understanding of :
• How  organisations build and develop their reputations
• The key components  which contribute to reputation and how an organisation can project itself to stakeholders
• The impact on brand reputation of external  market forces     


• Developing  and  managing corporate reputation
• Forces which influence brand reputation
• The key components of corporate reputation
• Developing and managing  a  corporate brand


Learning and teaching

The approach to learning is essentially action oriented requiring students to participate in a reputation recovery simulation.  However, the classroom sessions will provide the opportunity for consideration of theoretical approaches to reputation management and the formulation of communication strategies to manage reputation.

The crisis response teams will meet on a weekly basis to develop their reputation recover strategy.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to :
• Justify the importance and significance of managing corporate reputation domestically and internationally
• Evaluate  the strength of an organisation’s reputation using a portfolio of indictors
• Apply practical ways of developing and shaping corporate reputation
• Understand the nature and role of key stakeholders both internally and externally
• Critically evaluate the  nature  of corporate brands and establish potential gaps and be able to make recommendations  to close any gaps between image and identity


Assessment strategy

The context for the assessment is a simulation requiring students to work in a project team that has been formed in response to a recent crisis of reputation for a major company. The company will be allocated by the tutor inspired by recent events reported in the media.  The assessment requires the students to identify and articulate their own strengths. On the basis of these strengths, their evidenced ability to promote themselves and the match between their experience to date and the particular reputation disaster, students are seconded, by the tutor,  to specialist crisis teams. These teams are tasked with the development of a Reputation Recovery Solution which will be presented to a panel .  The project teams will identify the best method of communicating their Reputation Recovery Solution depending on the nature of the crisis. Communication methods might include a press release, news conference, radio news item, letter to customers or  public meeting.  The final session will provide the opportunity  to receive feedback on their performance during the simulation and ,  compare the accuracy of their of their own personal assessments of their ability to communicate, engage and influence with the observations and assessments of their peers, tutors and panel members.


• Cornelissen, J., Haslam, S.A. and Balmer, J.M.T. (2007) Social identity, organisational identity and corporate identity: towards an integrated understanding of processes, patternings and products. British Journal of Management, March, Vol18(1), Supplt, pp116.
• Davies, G. et al (2003) Corporate reputation and competitiveness. London, Routledge.
• Helm, S. (2007) One reputation or many? Comparing stakeholders’ perceptions of corporate reputation. Corporate Communications: an international journal, Vol 12(3), pp238-254.
• Gregory, A. (2007) Involving stakeholders in developing corporate brands: the communication dimension. Journal of Marketing Management, February, Vol23(1/2), pp59‐73.
• Hankinson, G. (2007) The management of destination brands: five guiding principles based on recent developments in corporate branding theory. Journal of Brand Management, Feb, Vol14 (3), pp240-254. 
• He, H-W., and Balmer, J.M.T., (2006) Alliance brands: building corporate brands through strategic alliances? Journal of Brand Management, Apr‐Jun, Vol13(4/5), pp242-256
• Van Riel, C.B.M. and Fombrum, C.J. (2007) Essentials of corporate communications. Abingdon, Routledge.