Previous work in the reputation management literature has focused mainly on commercial organisations and the views of external stakeholders. However, important outcomes of reputation, such as both internal and external stakeholder satisfaction, are also important in public sector organisations. It is surprising therefore that little work in the literature thus far has focused on the reputation of public sector organisations. The notion of customer orientation is of particular relevance in the context of a hospital‟s reputation, as the interactions and experiences that external stakeholders such as patients and visitors have with customer-facing public service employees will influence their perceptions towards the organisation. To understand better the issues of reputation and customer orientation, and moreover how they interact, the aims of this study are to (1) investigate the reputation of a public hospital, and importantly, the drivers and outcomes of such reputation among different stakeholders, and (2) to explore the links between reputation and customer orientation in a public service context. This study adopts a mixed methodology approach. Phase one involved a qualitative study of three focus groups (n=32) with the main stakeholders of a public sector hospital: patients and visitors, clinical staff and non-clinical staff. The overall aim of the focus groups was to explore the main drivers and outcomes of a public hospital‟s reputation. The second phase was a quantitative survey based study (N=650) which investigated the relationships between the perceived corporate reputation of the hospital as measured by the Corporate Character Scale, perceived employee and organisational customer orientation and; internal and external stakeholder satisfaction. Findings from phase one of this study identified different drivers and outcomes of public sector organisation‟s reputation from those previously found in mainstream commercial literature. In line with previous published studies, the empirical findings from phase two of the study highlight that employee customer orientation (ECO) impacts external satisfaction. In contrast to previous work however, ECO was found to have an insignificant effect on employee satisfaction. Most importantly, this study finds that for both employees and external stakeholders, corporate brand personality mediates the relationship between ECO and satisfaction, that is, ECO influences perceived brand personality, which in turn influences satisfaction. This study concludes by providing an outline of the study‟s contribution to the literature together with a discussion of managerial implications and research limitations. Finally recommendations for future research are proposed.
|Publication status||Submitted - 2009|