On SAGE Insight: Exploring the Links between Reputation and Fame

Article title: Exploring the Links between Reputation and Fame: Evidence from French Contemporary Architecture

From Organization Studies

Why is Armani a famous organization in fashion? Why is Joël Robuchon’s restaurant known worldwide for its culinary excellence? Research in sociology has defined fame as the volume of public discourse about a person, or a continuum composed of ‘sheer numbers of people who know one’s name’. This paper explains how fame can be a consequence of reputation held by an organization. Authors provide new theoretical and empirical insights into linking different reputations to fame, suggesting that the relationship between fame and reputation is not simply linear but rather more complex. It is also shown how experts can transform specific reputations among peers and clients into fame. The study starts by exploring how different types of reputation influence fame. These hypotheses are tested on a sample of 103 French architectural companies. The results reveal the important role of experts in mediating between peer reputation, market reputation and fame.


Why are some organizations famous? We argue that fame results from a conjunction of several audience-specific reputations. Expert reputation (i.e. reputation among members of a knowledgeable group, such as a cultural elite or critics) acts as a mediator for achieving fame for organizations held in high esteem by their peers and clients. Based on a unique database of 103 architectural companies in France, our analysis uses structural equation modelling (SEM) combined with mediation effects to reveal that expert reputation can lead to fame by mediating peer and client reputations. We contribute to the literature by explaining why only some organizations already reputed among peers and clients are famous in society at large.

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Article details
Amelie Boutinot, Iragaël Joly, Vincent Mangematin, and Shaz Ansari
Exploring the Links between Reputation and Fame: Evidence from French Contemporary Architecture
Organization Studies 0170840616670433, first published on October 21, 2016 doi:10.1177/0170840616670433




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