Connecting word-of-mouth to corporate reputation

Martin Williams, Francis Buttle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


We explore the relationship between customer-generated word-of-mouth and corporate reputation. After a concise literature review, we present several insights from a multiple case study of 3 organizations. Our main finding is that customer dissatisfaction and negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) are thought to have strong downside consequences for corporate reputation. Positive WOM does not appear to have equivalent upside significance for corporate reputation. NWOM often occurs as customers express dissatisfaction because of substandard customer service. However, it is when these issues or other negatively connoted stories find their way into the public domain that reputation suffers. Fear of reputational damage causes great anxiety to the organisations' senior management. Reputations are shown to be fragile. Damage limitation strategies are implemented in all three organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationANZMAC 2011
Subtitle of host publicationconference proceedings : Marketing in the age of consumerism : Jekyll or Hyde?
Place of PublicationPerth
PublisherANZMAC2011 Conference
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780646563305
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2011) - Perth
Duration: 28 Nov 201130 Nov 2011


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2011)


  • word of mouth management
  • corporate reputation
  • WOM
  • NWOM
  • public relations


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