Regulators, industry groups, consultants, and individual companies have developed elaborate guidelines over the years for assessing and managing risks in a wide range of areas, from commodity prices to natural disasters. Yet they have all but ignored reputational risk, mostly because they aren’t sure how to define or measure it.
The authors provide a framework for actively managing reputational risk. They introduce three factors (the reputation-reality gap, changing beliefs and expectations, and weak internal coordination) that affect the level of such risks and then explore several ways to sufficiently quantify and control those factors. The process outlined in this article will help managers do a better job of assessing existing and potential threats to their companies’ reputations and deciding whether to accept a particular risk or take actions to avoid or mitigate it