The role of image and reputation as intangible resources in non-profit organisations: a relationship management perspective

Kong, Eric and Farrell, Mark (2010) The role of image and reputation as intangible resources in non-profit organisations: a relationship management perspective. In: ICICKM 2010: 7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, 11-12 Nov 2010, Hong Kong, China.

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The current research on relationship management primarily focuses on enhancing customer relationships through image or reputation in organisations. The resource-based theory portrays image and reputation as important intangible resources that are derived from combinations of internal investments and external appraisals. With this in mind, the role of image and reputation in value creation needs to be carefully delineated. In non-profit settings, stronger image and reputation are likely associated with higher quality of goods and services, better delivery of those goods and services, improved management of donations and funds, and improved outcomes (e.g., higher capability to make a difference in societies).

Following a critical analysis of current literature with relevant examples, this paper argues that image and reputation are the keystones of non-profit organisations’ differentiation strategy. The resource-based theory suggests that resource factors represent a stronger explanation of differences in firm performance. Organisations are more likely to grow and develop higher performance potential if more resources are invested in image and reputation. By integrating several disparate resources, image and reputation as intangible resources can become more difficult to imitate and provide a more sustainable source of competitive advantage in organisations. Thus both image and reputation are likely influential elements that assist non-profit organisations in developing and managing relationships with external stakeholders, and thereby aid organisations in attracting important resources such as donations and volunteer support.

The study findings contribute to the more general understanding of image and reputation from a relationship management perspective in the non-profit context. Thus, the paper adds a new dimension to the body of literature by arguing that image and reputation can be utilised as relationship management tools in non-profit organisations. However, image and reputation are external to organisations and volatile in nature. Non-profit managers must strategically develop relationship management activities in their organisations, with image and reputation being central.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright The Authors, 2010.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2010 00:17
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2014 06:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: image; reputation; intangible resources; non-profit organisations; relationship management
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140214 Public Economics-Publically Provided Goods
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services

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