Exploring the usefulness of an explicit modelling approach to the management of a reputational crisis : a case study of Toyota

Janse Van Rensburg, Anina (2012-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Reputation is “the overall estimation in which a company is held by its constituents. A corporate reputation represents the ’net‘ affective or emotional reaction – good or bad, weak or strong – of customers, investors, employees, and the general public to the company’s name” (Fombrun, 1996: 37). For an organisation to remain competitive, achieve its goals and thrive a favourable reputation is the platform for approval and acceptance by the different stakeholders of the organisation. Reputation is also a way in which companies can attain competitive advantage from other similar organisations by displaying its unique competencies or differences. A good reputation of a company is an intangible asset that plays a major role in a company’s general success. A positive corporate reputation assists with employee recruitment, attracts investors, aid premium pricing and product quality, make financial resources availability easier and constrain the movement of competitors (Watson, 2007: 371). A reputational crisis is “the loss of the common estimation of the good name attributed to an organisation”. In recent years, more companies experienced reputational crises. These crises can occur in the form of a product-harm crisis, a recall crisis or any other form of situation that can damage a company’s reputation and where the company was not prepared for the subsequent events (Booth, 2000: 197). This research paper provides an overview of the Toyota recall crisis to put the events and situation the company faced in context and consequently discusses the current crisis management methods and crisis communication strategies methodology. The argument for the usefulness of a new approach to crisis management, namely the Qualitative Politicised Influence Diagram (QPID) approach, is presented and applied to the Toyota reputational crisis. As companies in the global age of communication, environmental responsibility, the internet and social media experience the snowball effect of any issue that can become a major threat to its reputation, a new approach to the management of a crisis can be of significant value.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Reputasie is "wat mense oor die algemeen van 'n maatskappy dink. 'n Maatskappy se reputasie verteenwoordig die ‘netto’ affektiewe of emosionele reaksie – goed of sleg, swak of sterk – wat kliënte, beleggers, werknemers, en die algemene publiek aan die maatskappy se naam koppel" (Fombrun; 1996:37). Vir 'n organisasie om kompeterend te bly, om sy doelwitte te bereik en te floreer, moet hy 'n gunstige reputasie hê om deur die verskillende belanghebbendes van die organisasie goedgekeur en aanvaar te word. Reputasie is ook 'n manier waarop maatskappye 'n mededingende voordeel kan verkry teenoor ander soortgelyke organisasies deur hulle unieke vaardighede of verskille te vertoon. 'n Maatskappy se goeie reputasie is 'n ontasbare bate wat 'n belangrike rol speel in sy algemene sukses. 'n Positiewe korporatiewe reputasie help om nuwe werknemers te werf, beleggers te lok, premiepryse en produkkwaliteit te ondersteun, die beskikbaarstelling van finansiële hulpbronne makliker te maak, en die beweging van mededingers te beperk (Watson, 2007:371) 'n Reputasiekrisis is wanneer "'n organisasie die algemene mening dat hy 'n goeie naam het, verloor". Die afgelope paar jaar ervaar al hoe meer maatskappye reputasiekrisisse. Hierdie krisisse kan in die vorm wees van 'n produk wat skade kan veroorsaak, 'n produk wat herroep moet word, of enige ander soort situasie wat 'n maatskappy se reputasie nadelig kan beïnvloed, waar die maatskappy nie voorbereid is op die daaropvolgende gebeure nie (Booth, 2000:197). Hierdie navorsing gee 'n oorsig oor Toyota se herroep-krisis ten einde die gebeure en die situasie wat die maatskappy in die gesig gestaar het, in konteks plaas, en bespreek daarna die huidige krisisbestuurmetodes en krisiskommunikasiestrategiemetodologie. Daar word geargumenteer waarom 'n nuwe benadering tot krisisbestuur, naamlik die “Qualitative Politicised Influence Diagram” (QPID), nuttig sal wees, en genoemde benadering word op Toyota se reputasiekrisis toegepas. Soos maatskappye in hierdie era van globale kommunikasie, omgewingsverantwoordelikheid, die internet en sosiale media die sneeubaleffek ervaar van enige kwessie wat 'n groot bedreiging vir 'n maatskappy se reputasie kan inhou, kan 'n nuwe benadering tot die bestuur van 'n krisis uiters waardevol wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95607
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