Peer Reputation in the Nonprofit Sector: Its Role in Nonprofit Sector Management

Research paper by Paulette Padanyi, Brenda Gainer

Indexed on: 01 Oct '03Published on: 01 Oct '03Published in: Corporate Reputation Review


Reputation is a complex construct. Any one organization normally has several different reputations based on attributes and criteria of specific interest to different publics, constituencies, interest groups and/or stakeholders. Managers of nonprofit organizations need to think beyond how their organization is perceived by the general public and to be aware of the reputation their organization has among different key interest groups, how each of these reputations influences organizational performance and how each can be enhanced to improve performance. This paper extends the investigation of the importance of reputation to nonprofit organizations through an empirical study of the relationships between peer reputation and other nonprofit performance variables. It provides the first empirical evidence that an organization's reputation among managers of similar nonprofit organizations influences its success in attracting resources. It also provides empirical evidence that an organization's peer reputation is affected by other nonprofit performance factors, such as client satisfaction and effective governance. The scholarly and management implications of these findings are discussed.