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Chicken or Egg: Exploring the Coevolution of Reputation, Performance and Structural Reforms. Evidence from a Flemish Public-Sector Organization

Governance
Public Administration
Power
Jan Wynen
Tilburg University
Bjorn Kleizen
Universiteit Antwerpen
Koen Verhoest
Universiteit Antwerpen
Jan Wynen
Tilburg University

Abstract

This study explores how reputation and performance codevelop, and provides insights into how both affect each other as well as how both react or instigate political decision-making through reforms. We expect that, on the one hand, strong reputations form a resource that an organization can utilize to enhance its performance. Conversely, strong performance may translate into more positive stakeholder perceptions, enhancing the organization’s reputation. Moreover, little is known how both affect or are influenced by political decision-making. Our study design offers an ideal and unique setting to examine these questions. First, the organization under study has a detailed monitoring system of its performance. As such, objective, workforce-related performance data is available on a monthly basis over a period of 5 years. Second, we are able to combine these data with a textual analysis of newspaper articles on a monthly basis for the same period of time. The textual analysis allows opinion mining leading to data on both positive and negative sentiments. Using time series analyses, the combination of these data allow to precisely examine the coevolution of performance and reputation within a public sector setting taking structural reforms into account.