Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Image, Credibility and Reputation: Perceptions of Deceitful Corporate Communication in the Classroom

Contreras-Pacheco, Orlando E. (2017): Image, Credibility and Reputation: Perceptions of Deceitful Corporate Communication in the Classroom. Published in: Innodoct 2017, Valencia, Spain (2018): pp. 13-28.

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In 2013, Drummond Ltd., a coal mining company, concealed and lied about the occurrence of a major coal spill on Colombia’s northern coast. In light of a pedagogical exercise in an executive education context, this paper analyzes international observers’ perceptions about the deceitful behavior of this multinational company when communicating with stakeholders after the mentioned accident took place. I do it by testing three constructs—perceived corporate image, credibility, and reputation—on a two-round basis, i.e., before and after the revelation of the company’s deception through its official ex-post communications. For that to happen, a combined exercise of group-based inquiries and individual self-administered surveys was performed. Respondents were 174 professionals of diverse nationalities and backgrounds, all of them enrolled in several graduate programs at an accredited French school of business. When both moments of measurement were compared, results showed a clear decrease in the mean value of all three constructs, but an increment in variability of responses. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in light of the effects of deception in corporate communication, and the importance of this topic for the managerial education in general.

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