A categorical view of corporate reputation explains how organizations are grouped together in an economic market according to the attributes they share. Relevant stakeholders as audiences evaluate the reputations of these organizations based on their commonly shared features. This entry explains the coupling of criteria and audiences, meaningfully bound in a social category. It first discusses categories in management and organizational theory and then how criteria bond reputations to categories.

Beginning in the 1980s, management research focused on the cognition questions of what constituted strategic groups as clusters of firms in economic markets. This research observed that organizations focused on the actions of a small set of competitors. This mutual attention was not determined by an authoritative source but governed by the logic of similarity. ...

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