Pr. Joonas Rokka, from Neoma Business School and his colleagues have published new research showing how social media accentuates the role of employee and corporate reputation management. According to findings drawn from multiple business sectors and different types of companies,
New study shows that companies need to focus more on managing employees as active reputation builders in social mediathe research claims that companies need to focus more on managing employees as active reputation builders and brand ambassadors in social media instead of conceiving them only as possible reputation risks.
Pr. Rokka said
We observe an increasing and consistent need to address the heightened role of employees in social media, regardless of whether the company has an official presence there. This need emerges from the fact that employees have a crucial role as active meaning makers and reputation builders in various social-media networks that include customers, colleagues, and friends, and in which the boundaries between work and non-work roles begin to lose their sharp contours. Hence, the ways in which companies balance between managing work and private lives of their employees as well as openness and control becomes an issue that needs careful attention,
In particular, the study highlights that investments in employee wellbeing contribute to more effective company reputation-building in social media. The data was gathered from managers from three different business sectors: fast-moving consumer goods (food products), financial services (banking), and professional services (new media consulting).
When companies trust and treat employees fairly, and employ good day-to-day management practices, employees will do good for the company in return. For instance, by sharing their experiences of the company and its products in social media
Key findings of the study include:
- Employees are perceived as a fundamental element of reputation management
- Employee well-being influences social-media presence and, ultimately, reputation
- Achieving transparency is more important for reputation building than seeking to avoid negative impressions or risks
- Reputation management in social media can be seen as balancing acts that are particular ways of making sense of various contradictions, paradoxes, and tensions related to branding and managing employees
Full reference: Rokka, Joonas, Karlsson, Katariina and Tienari, Janne (2013) Balancing acts: Managing employees and reputation in social media. Journal of Marketing Management (in press, published online 15.7.2013,
Balancing acts: Managing employees and reputation in social media
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NEOMA Business School is the result of the merger between Rouen Business School and Reims Management School. Jointly managed by its President, Yves Bénard, and its Dean, Frank Bostyn, NEOMA Business School’s ambition is to be ranked among Europe’s best schools and be recognized as the preferred partner of companies. The school, with three campuses in Reims, Rouen and Paris, offers a portfolio of programmes from Bachelor level to Executive Education. Its faculty, which is focused around seven academic departments, counts more than 200 permanent professors. The school has more than 40,000 graduates, based in more than 120 countries worldwide. www.neoma-bs.fr