A substantial number of academic studies are devoted to the conceptualization and measurement of corporate reputation. However, it is not fully clear which associations (perceptions) can be seen as most dominant in corporate reputation research. This paper provides an overview of studies that discuss the different types of associations people may hold regarding companies. The conclusion is that there are three main conceptual streams in this literature. The first stream distinguishes different types of associations on the basis of different social expectations that people have regarding companies. The second stream distinguishes associations on the basis of different corporate personality traits that people attribute to companies. Finally, the third stream distinguishes associations on the basis of different reasons that people have to trust or distrust a company.

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ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Corporate Reputation Review
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Berens, G., & van Riel, C. (2004). Corporate Associations in the Academic Literature:Three Main Streams of Thought in the Reputation Measurement Literature. Corporate Reputation Review, 161–178. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/12126