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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article theorises how new criteria for corporate reputations emerge and, as a case study, uses the concept of ‘green’ as applied to business as an illustration. New reputation criteria emerge through competition and contestation that combine to establish new dimensions of quality as standards against which members of a particular organisation or type of organisation will be judged. As public discourse about the green concept grew, corporations and their media-based critics found enlarged common ground about what it means to be green. As new reputation criteria emerge and become widely accepted, the expenditures required to meet them go from being like taxes to being like investment. Linking emerging standards of quality to relations among corporations and their critics advances understanding of how ongoing meaning construction impacts the fates of social movements that target corporations for change, corporations themselves, and society more broadly.

Keywords: corporate reputations, green concept, reputation criteria, competition, contestation, corporations, social movements

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