Understanding Reputation Risk: Part I

By Leonard J. Ponzi, Ph.D. - Managing Partner, ReputationInc
Andrea Bonime-Blanc, JD/Ph.D. - CEO and Founder, GEC Risk Advisory

The concept of “Reputation Risk” is relatively new - it has been around for about a decade and only more seriously examined in the last 2-3 years.

Prescient as always, the Economist called reputation risk the “risk of risks” in 2007.

But it was not until around 2013, that several major surveys found that executives and boards not only ranked reputation risk as one of their top concerns but also considered it to be a strategic risk -- one that could have a dramatic or material effect on their business, prospects and overall organizational wellbeing. This was a clear reflection of significant events in the financial sector (involving many leading banks and investment banks), the tech sector (Google v. China), the automotive sector (Toyota’s faulty brakes), and the oil and gas sector (BP’s record oil spill), just to name a few.

We have approached this topic from various different angles – Len focuses on reputation and a more quantitative and metrics-based approach while Andrea explores the topic from a more qualitative, risk and crisis management perspective. Both of us have been developing tools and resources on issues of risk and reputation, now we are focusing on what that means to the combined concept and
reality of reputation risk.

This work is presented in two parts. In Part I, we provide some perspective on what reputation risk means. In Part II, we will tackle the issue of why reputation risk management needs to be part and parcel of any organization’s strategic agenda, the critical importance of knowing who your principal stakeholders are and why they are important and the need for the coming together of a qualitative and quantitative perspective and expertise on this most challenging of strategic risks.

For the full report, you can find the download links on the right-hand side


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