Reputational stickiness refers to that which makes reputations difficult to alter or erase. Organizations are embedded in specific industries, and these industries have broadly held reputations that may not accurately reflect the reputation of an individual firm in that industry. In the oil industry, for example, highly visible events (Shell’s decision in the early 1990s to sink the Brent Spar oil platform, which it later reversed, and the 2010 oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which was leased by BP) have tarnished the reputation of all oil firms. The financial meltdown worldwide in 2008 has also deepened the negative reputation of firms in the financial industry. As such, changing the reputation of individual firms in such industries can ...

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