A theory is defined as an inference about how concepts and statements fit together into an explanation of a phenomenon. This entry on theories of corporate reputation will discuss the various conceptual frameworks used in corporate reputation research. These include categories and attributes; social cognition theories; sensemaking theories; social theories; economic theories; macro-, system-, and institution-level theories; media effects theories; and impression management theories.

Categories and Attributes

The label of categories and attributes refers to theories that describe, explain, or make predictions about any number of corporate reputation matters where the use of categories or attributes plays some role in the theory’s description of how it can be applied to understanding some facet of corporate reputation. A number of theories that explain the facets of corporate reputation ...

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