The value of feasibility studies in corporate reputation management : an exploratory investigation

Lloyd, HLE 2008, The value of feasibility studies in corporate reputation management : an exploratory investigation , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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Normally, feasibility studies would be commissioned for industrial projects to assess the worth of undertaking them, in terms of their content, timing, costs, and internal and external stakeholder and environmental influences. The study concentrates on the corporate communications and public relations working environment, and uses the various elements of a feasibility study as a basis for investigating the extent to which the same or similar principles are used, or are applicable, or both, to corporate reputation management. The fieldwork phase of the study was conducted using an iterative, interpretive approach, consisting of two rounds of unstructured interviews. This type of research method was selected for its flexibility which matches the exploratory, developmental and unpredictable nature of the research. Several parallels were drawn between feasibility study elements and corporate reputation management, in particular the importance of maintaining stakeholder contact; looking at other organisations' experiences; paying attention to corporate objectives, culture and values; business operations; costs and benefits; timescales and resource; environment and risk identification and the strategy for resolving them. During the course of undertaking this research I discovered that one of the potential drawbacks identified with using feasibility studies was some lack of understanding of the formal and informal mix of processes among interview respondents within a corporate communications or public relations environment. This could also suggest that this type of environment is unsuitable for a rigid process due to its responsiveness and fluidity. I would argue, however, that feasibility studies are very adaptable and flexible and as a consequence, they can be regularly brainstormed and reviewed throughout a project's lifecycle. This can also apply to corporate reputation management concerns, since failure to regularly review these issues can result in manager being unprepared if a crisis hits. I believe that my research clearly shows that feasibility study principles, to a greater or lesser extent, can be applied to event management as an indicator of the robustness or otherwise of a firm's corporate reputation management. It also demonstrates that, despite their apparent incompatibility, the two disciplines of corporate communications and project management can comfortably co-exist, both academically and corporately.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Light, B (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2021 10:55

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