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The difference in perceptions of corporate image between internal and external audiences

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Title:
The difference in perceptions of corporate image between internal and external audiences a case study of the Colorado Rockies
Portion of title:
Case study of the Colorado Rockies
Creator:
Giovino, Jan J
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
x, 122 leaves : illustrations, forms ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Corporate image ( lcsh )
Corporate image ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 118-122).
Thesis:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Communication and Theatre
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jan J. Giovino.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
37887146 ( OCLC )
ocm37887146
Classification:
LD1190.L48 1997m .G56 ( lcc )

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Full Text
THE DIFFERENCE IN PERCEPTIONS OF CORPORATE IMAGE
BETWEEN INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL AUDIENCES:.
A CASE STUDY OF THE COLORADO ROCKIES
by
Jan J. Giovino
B.A., University of Nebraska, 1981
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Communication and Theatre
1997


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by-
Jan J. Giovino
has been approved
by
/^7
Date
Mike Monsour


Giovino, Jan J. (M.A., Communication and Theatre)
The Difference in Perceptions of Corporate Image
Between Internal and External Audiences: A Case
Study of the Colorado Rockies
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Benita Dilley
Through a study of the Colorado Rockies, the topics of
corporate reputation and corporate image are explored.
Employees of the company and a population of University
of Colorado at Denver students are surveyed. Although
the literature review explains many aspects of corporate
reputation and image, it becomes clear the terms mean
different things to different people. The definitions
lie in every individual and with each change in the
individual's culture. Corporate image and corporate
reputation have been studied many times before. Each
study proves their importance to the success of every
business. Findings of the study show the two groups
believe the image and the way the Colorado Rockies
communicates to the public is good. There are some
significant differences which show varying opinions. The
differences are clues of how changes may be necessary in
order for the company to maintain its positive corporate
image and reputation.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidate's thesis. I recommend
ABSTRACT
Signed
in


DEDICATION
This thesis is dedicated to my mother and father who
taught me the importance of education.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Thanks to the employees of the Colorado Rockies who have
supported me, my adviser Benita Dilley who has guided me,
and my husband Gary for standing by me.


CONTENTS
Tables............................................ x
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION ............................. 1
Review of Studies .................. 7
Definitions ....................... 14
Purpose of the Study .............. 19
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................ 28
Changes in Capitalism ............. 28
Changes in Corporate Culture ..... 31
Creation of the Corporate Image .. 33
The Influence of Corporate
Culture on Image.................. 3 9
The Influence of Ethics on Image . 43
The CEO's Influence on Image ..... 48
The Employees' Influence on
Image ............................ 51
Stakeholder's View of the
Corporate Image .................. 54
The Influence of the Media on
Corporate Image .................. 55
Maintenance of the Corporate
Image ............................ 57
The Literature's Influence on the
Study ............................ 60
vi


3 . HYPOTHESIS .............................. 62
Hypothesis Statement ............... 63
Scope of the Study ................. 64
4. RESULTS OF THE STUDY .................... 68
Employee Means for Image-Related
Statements ......................... 72
Student Means for Image-Related
Statements ......................... 73
Differences Between Employee and
Student Means for Image-Related
Statements ......................... 73
Employee Means for
Media/Communication-Related
Statements ......................... 76
Student Means for
Media/Communication-Related
Statements ......................... 77
Differences Between Employee and
Student Means for
Media/Communication-Related
Statements ......................... 78
Employee Means for Baseball Game-
Related Statements ................. 80
Student Means for Baseball
Game-Related Statements ............ 81
Differences Between Employee and
Student Means for Baseball
Game-Related Statements ............ 81
Employee Means for Community
Relations Statements ............... 83
Student Means for Community
Relations Statements ............... 83
VI1


Differences Between Employee and
Student Means for Community
Relations Statements ............... 84
Ranking of Significant Levels .... 84
Highest Level in Study ........ 86
Lowest Level in Study ......... 86
Highest and Lowest Levels in
Image Category ................ 87
Highest and Lowest Levels in
Media/Communication
Category ...................... 87
Highest and Lowest Levels in
Baseball Category ............. 88
Highest and Lowest Levels in
Community Relations
Category ...................... 88
5. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS ..................... 90
Purpose of the Study .................... 90
What the Literature Showed .............. 91
Determining the Hypothesis and Form of
the Study ............................... 93
Employee Perceptions .................... 94
Student Perceptions ..................... 98
Differences Between the Employee and
Student Perceptions .................... 100
Issues Revealed by the Study ........... 101
Limitations ............................ 103
Recommendations ........................ 104
Conclusion ............................. 106
viii


APPENDIX ................................... 109
A Sample Questionnaire .............. 110
B Survey Answers .................... 113
BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................... 118
IX


TABLES
TABLE
4.1 Image-Related Statements .......... 71
4.2 Media/Communication-Related
Statements ........................ 75
4.3 Baseball Game-Related Statements . 80
4.4 Community-Related Statements ...... 83
4.5 Rank of Statements by Level of
Significance (Highest to Lowest) . 85
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Beginning with Aristotle, scholars and researchers
have attempted to explain the term image. Over time,
corporate image and corporate reputation have increased
and broadened their meanings in the business world. This
thesis attempts to measure the reputation and image of
the Colorado Rockies based on the opinions of two
different groups.
History has shown capitalism in the United States
has been motivated by profits and losses since its
inception. For the last three centuries, capitalism has
grown and changed along with the lifestyles of American
culture.
The arrival of television media in the 1960s caused
one of the biggest changes in capitalism. Electronic
media brought reality into every American home through
nightly news broadcasts. Suddenly nobody was an island.
Television showed human actions of many people were not
good. Through the visual broadcasts, people began to see
things they didn't like, causing an increase in public
1


resentment of some traditional American institutions.
Significant social changes resulted as people started
seeking answers to questions that were considered none of
their business in earlier decades. The American public
also began to realize previous propaganda they had been
told and believed was not necessarily true (James Gray,
Jr. 1986).
The 1960s trend made companies more accountable by
forcing businesses to humanize its operations. The trend
was a natural phenomenon. Great value is put on being
liked and respected by members of society. Contributing
to the good of the community gives a person great
satisfaction. Humans create a company's reputation.
Businesses that portray the image of one that cares about
the people it serves, and not just profits, can be proud
of the work it does and cherish a well-earned reputation.
In his book Reputation. Charles Fombrun said the
1980s also proved to be a decade for change in capitalism
as seen in the increase of service-oriented companies.
The common product for these businesses was attention to
the customer. Like reputation and image, service is an
intangible asset, but one that is an important ingredient
to success. Companies with tangible products saw a
2


combination of good products and services increased
profits. Companies learned reputation influenced
customer purchases, quality of applicants, number of
investors, and opinions of the community where the
businesses were located (Fombrun, 1996).
Two problems have developed within the institution
of capitalism. The first problem has been an increase of
the mundane. Businesses have been put under a
microscope by the American people. The United States
government, being the conscious and caretaker of its
democratic public has been forced to develop restrictions
and laws to protect people from bad and unsafe business
practices. Unfortunately, doing this has inhibited the
creativity, growth and success of business institutions
in the United States. The second problem stems from how
businesses have reacted to the numerous laws and
regulations placed on them. For many years, corporate
America has been passive in its acceptance of government
influence. Each time regulations have been put into
effect, many businesses have sat back and done nothing.
Therefore, more regulations have been created by the
government, small interest groups, and other
institutions. As time went on, corporate America has
3


crawled deeper and deeper into its shell and further away
from its culture and community.
George Stanley Moore in his book Managing Corporate
Relations. expanded the idea that modern businesses live
in the dark ages. First, instead of taking a leadership
role in influencing the values, ethics and social aspects
of its surrounding communities, corporations have sat
idly back and let someone else set the course. Large
groups such as the media, environmentalists, politicians,
and consumers have taken the lead and steered businesses
into the future. Corporate America blindly followed.
The years of silence put both large and small companies
at a great disadvantage and behind other organizations
whose messages were loud and clear. These groups have
dominated the headlines for so long, people are beginning
to believe their side of the story is the right side.
Unfortunately, most corporations in this country have not
done a good job presenting its side of the story.
Second, companies have refused to believe the global
business and social environment is different from what it
was at the beginning of this century. Most companies
believe doing things the way they have been done in the
past is good enough. These businesses are like dinosaurs
4


because they have refused to adapt to the changing world
(Moore, 1980) .
A trend has developed over the last decade that has
influenced how businesses operate. According to Clive
Chajet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Lippincott & Margulies Inc., (1989), business executives
have started to think if a favorable corporate identity
is created, then nourished correctly, a company can
depend on the identity to help ensure its success. A
sound corporate image is the backbone of any company. A
good image attracts consumers that buy the product, top
quality people who want employment with the organization,
vendors, and creditors wanting to engage in business.
Members of these groups want to be associated with a
company that has a positive image (Chajet, 1989) .
The image of a corporation is the link between the
public's perception of the company and the reality of the
business. As the 21st century draws near, the public's
perception of a company is beginning to have an even
greater influence on how businesses operate. Decisions
made internally are now questioned publicly. This has
produced many new challenges to growing and diversifying
corporations. Making the right business decisions
5


ultimately effects the image of the company and the
increase or decrease in profits. Progressive Chief
Executive Officers (CEOs) have realized corporate image
has a profound effect on consumer's opinion of their
company.
The current image of major league baseball has been
formed through a great deal of public opinion. Although
most baseball teams in the United States and world wide
are privately owned, it is very much a public
institution. The baseball industry was founded in 1846
by Abner Doubleday. It currently has 28 major league
teams and numerous minor league teams within its system.
Teams like the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and New
York Yankees have been in the same ballparks for as many
as 75 years. Although the same rules apply to how the
game is played on the field, off the field, the business
side of baseball has changed dramatically. Some teams
have accepted these changes and been proactive in their
marketing and sales efforts. Other teams have not caught
on. Major league baseball is in the entertainment and
service industries. Teams that understand this and have
taken measures to operate accordingly are ahead of those
who do not. Major league baseball is a public business.
6


Unfortunately, some owners still run their franchises as
if they were an island (Steve Marantz & David Falkner,
The Sporting News. 1995).
Companies that have realized they are not an island,
know the importance of corporate image. Companies that
choose to develop policies that result in a good
corporate image have a better chance at success if they
communicate the policies and practices to the public.
Even if a corporation does not choose to communicate, it
still has an image. A company cannot have some kind of
image. Many studies have shown how a good or bad
corporate image effects profits.
Review of Studies
There has been much discussion on the impact of
corporate image and reputation. One of the most
significant studies has been the annual survey conducted
by Fortune magazine. In 1983, 6,000 corporate executives
were asked to rate reputations of the ten largest
corporations in the 20 largest United States industries.
Although the survey did not precisely define corporate
reputation, the ratings were based on the following:
quality of management, quality of products or services,
7


innovation, long-term investment value, financial
soundness, ability to attract and keep talented people,
community and environmental responsibility, and use of
corporate assets. The survey participants thought many
of these attributes were the cornerstone of success
(Gray, 1986). The Fortune study from 1983 uncovered a
newly emerging business philosophy: A company's traits
and values, traditionally limited for human behavior, are
carried over and included in the actions of corporate
America.
Nowhere are the realms of corporate image more
apparent than the highly covered Exxon Valdez oil spill
off the Alaskan shore line in 1989. Exxon violated an
important crisis communication rule that is, "Quickly
take charge of the news flow and give the public, by way
of the news media, a credible, concerned and wholly-
committed spokesperson" (Bruce Harrison & Tom Prugh,
1989, p. 40). Exxon's top executive, Lawrence G. Rawl,
failed to explain immediately the company's side of the
story. The greater the delay in issuing a statement, the
harder it is to convince the public the company cares
(Harrison & Prugh, 1989).
8


The impact of the media on the Exxon incident
resulted in several studies. Steven Wartick (1992) noted
how media exposure can be significantly related to
corporate reputation in his study of 29 companies that
were targets of single episodes of intense news coverage.
He found corporate reputation went in different
directions depending on whether a company received
negative or positive press. Also, if the companies had
reached a high level of public familiarity before a
newsworthy incident occurred, the degree of change to
their reputation was not affected as much by media
coverage as whether the incident was a negative or
positive one. He suggested companies with poor
reputations received a greater increase in exposure
through media relations. Since companies with good
reputations did not see that significant of a change
after such an event, they were better off adding
circumstances that increased the chances of gaining media
coverage.
That same year, an image-related survey appeared in
an August 11, 1992, article in the Rocky Mountain News
("Community Bulletin," 1992). The article concerned
Denver's newly awarded baseball franchise, the Colorado
9


Rockies and its change to local ownership. The question
"Did the Colorado Rockies regain your confidence when the
team increased local control?" was presented. The non-
scientific, call-in poll found that of 929 participants,
507 said "yes," and 422 said "no." The public's
perception was that the new, local ownership was better
than the previous out-of-state group.
Paul Herbig, John Milewicz, and Jim Golden continued
the corporate image topic with their 1994 investigation
of the relationship between corporate reputation and
credibility. Their study used a competitive credibility
model of reputation. Using a market simulation, they
found that on-going credibility transactions (positive,
negative or mixed) produced various effects on a
corporation's reputation depending on the type of
transaction. As negative and positive transactions added
up, the more they influenced the reputation.
According to the Herbig study, a company's revenues
were a reflection of its reputation. Also, the state of
the reputation determined what kind of advertising to
run, it increased brand and logo recognition, and kept
more customers. A good reputation allowed products to be
priced higher too (Herbig et al, 1994).
10


Corporate reputation and finance have had profound
roles in the business finance matrix. Based on a 1992
study, Marion Sobol, Gail Farrelly, and Jessica Taper,
said corporate reputation is a reflection of many
measurable factors including financial performance.
Using the annual Fortune survey and Moody's Handbook of
Common Stock as a guide, they explored the meaning and
importance of the eight reputation attributes laid out by
Fortune. These included quality of products and
services, quality of management, financial soundness, the
ability to attract and keep talented employees,
innovation, long-term investment value, community and
environmental responsibility and use of corporate assets.
Sobol's research showed a one to seven year lag in
financial variables and general reputation. Findings
also showed that managerial decisions reflected the total
strategy of the company. A significant relationship was
found between innovation to price/earnings ratio,
earnings per share, and average yield percentage.
The most significant variable in the study was the
price/earnings ratio. A price/earnings ratio is a
representation of how a market regards corporations.
Firms with high price/earnings are regarded as firms with
11


potential for improvement and willingness to modernize.
To initiate change, a firm must often accept high
expenses. Long time lags mean research and development
must reflect a long-term plan.
The quality of management and quality of product are
closely associated in terms of financial factors. Eight
of the 20 industries studied showed the variable most
importantly related to corporate reputation was the size
of net income (Sobol et al., 1992).
A study conducted by Jean McGuire, Alison Sundgren
and Thomas Schneeweiss (1988) examined corporate
reputation and financial issues with a focus on social
responsibility. The costs of socially responsible
actions were large, however they may have been offset by
other firm costs.
The research showed accounting-based performance
measures of ROI (return on investment), sales growth, and
asset growth were significantly associated with a high
level of social responsibility. Firms doing well by
accounting and stock market measures were most likely to
allocate money to areas of social responsibility.
However, this study did not conclude a good reputation or
corporate responsibility leads to extra profitability.
12


Much has been written about what influences
corporate reputation. Catherine Schwoerer and Benson
Rosen (1989) found job security was an important
attribute that attracts and keeps people. Higher wages
may offset the chance of a lay off in terms of workers'
willingness to consider taking a job with a company. A
proven example of this is shown in IBM. The reputation
of IBM has lowered as lifetime job security has become
weaker and weaker.
According to Anne Tsui's study in 1984, quality of
management was an extremely important influence on
corporate reputation. Quality of product was very
important as well, according to William P. Rogerson.
Using theoretical economic proof, high-quality firms had
more customers because they had fewer dissatisfied
patrons. This was because the satisfied customers were
good word-of-mouth advertising, and they recruited new
people. Secondly, higher fixed-costs were usually
associated with better quality and these costs may have
formed barriers new corporations could not enter. The
high-quality companies may have tended to be larger.
This finding correlates with the Sobol empirical results
that showed the firms with larger market share in their
13


industry tended to be the firms with highest reputations
(Rogerson, 1983) .
The studies noted here raise questions about
corporate reputation and image. Before these topics can
be discussed and evaluated, several terms need to be
explained.
Definitions
The definitions for several terms used in the paper
are given here. The terms include: community relations,
corporate culture, corporate identity, corporate image,
corporate public relations, corporate reputation,
corporate stakeholders, culture, cultural diversity or
multiculturalism, image, marketing, marketing public
relations, media, public relations, and significance
level. A variety of sources are used to define the terms
throughout this section.
Bill Cantor in the 1984 book titled, Experts in
Action, defined "community relations" as the partnership
built between the users of a product and the company that
received a profit from them. The partnership is based on
trust and the understanding the company will give back to
the community it takes from (Bill Cantor, 1984).
14


"Corporate culture" is the business environment
created by and comprised of a company, including its
rituals, formal and informal communications. These
aspects work to sustain the vision and values of the
organization. The definition is from the book by Eric
Eisenberg and H.L. Goodall titled Organizational
Communication. (Eisenberg & H.L. Goodall, 1993) .
In Reputation. Charles Fombrun defined "corporate
identity" as "the set of values and principles employees
and managers associate with a company" (Fombrun, 1996, p.
36) .
A similar term, "corporate image" was defined by
Fombrun as a reflection of all electronic and print
advertising and promotions. Rumors circulated by and
through employees, analysts, and the media also
contribute to the corporate image (Fombrun, 1996).
"Corporate public relations" is the entire whole of
a company, not just a narrow view of its individual
parts. This definition came from Cantor (Cantor, 1984) .
"Corporate relations" was defined by George Moore.
It focused on the relationships between the people inside
a corporation and the external people and organizations
they work with outside their companies (Moore, 1980) .
15


Fombrun's 1996 definition of "corporate reputation"
is used. "Corporation reputation" is the evaluation the
stakeholders have of a company. The stakeholders
evaluate the company through inspired and/or emotional
reactions. The reactions can be good, bad, weak or
strong (Fombrun, 1996).
"Corporate stakeholders" according to Cantor were
"groups who, in one way or another, have a stake in the
actions of a corporation" (p. 4).
Larry Naylor, author of Cultural Diversity in the
United States defined "culture" and "cultural diversity"
(also known as "multiculturalism"). "Culture" was
described as "the primary means of human adaptation; the
basis for the majority of human thought and behavior"
(Naylor, 1997, p. 3). Cultures are made up of groups of
people who set themselves apart from others by their
beliefs, behaviors, values and products they use.
Cultures change along with the constantly changing
environments in which they are a part.
"Culture diversity" also known as "multiculturalism"
is difficult to define, according to Naylor, because it
has not yet been created in the United States. He said
it is a multitude of cultures identified in any human
16


society. The requirements to have multiculturalism
'f
consist of overlapping interests or beliefs by different
groups, an interest in human rights (not just common
values), organizational structures making it possible for
different groups to interact and live together, and
finally, becoming empathetic to multi groups instead of
just single minorities (Naylor, 1997).
"Marketing" as defined in a paper by Philip Kotler
is "selecting attractive target markets; designing
customer-oriented products and services; and developing
effective distribution and communication programs with
the aim of producing high consumer purchases and
satisfaction, and high company attainment of its
objectives" (Kotler, 1989).
Kotler's colleague, Thomas Harris defined a newly
created term, "marketing public relations" as "the
process of planning, executing and evaluating programs
that encourage purchase and consumer satisfaction through
credible communication of information and impressions
that identify companies and their products with the
needs, wants, concerns and interests of consumers"
(Harris, 1991, p. 12). What this means is that companies
should have thoughtful plans that successfully tell
17


consumers there is a product available they should
purchase.
Terence Shimp defined "media" in his 1993 edition of
Promotion Management & Marketing Communications. "Media"
is the tool used to transmit all communications. The
tools are usually television, magazines, radio, etc., but
can include all types of media promotions (Shimp, 1993).
"Public relations" is defined by Scott Cutlip, Allen
Center and Glen Broom in the book, Effective Public
Relations. The authors said public relations is "a
distinctive management function that helps establish and
maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding,
acceptance and cooperation between an organization and
its publics . . . and uses research and sound and ethical
communications techniques as its principal tools"
(Cutlip, Center & Broom, p. 4).
The book, Basic Statistics, written by Chris Spatz,
contains an explanation of the statistical term called a
"significance level." Spatz said a "significance level"
is "the point that separates 'reject' from 'retain'. The
generally accepted significance level break is .05. If
the difference in what is being measured has a
probability of .05 or less, the hypothesis is rejected
18


and the difference is considered significant (not due to
chance). The word significant in a statistics context is
not synonymous with important. A significant difference
in statistics is one that is not attributed to chance"
(Spatz, p. 170).
The words "corporation," "company," and "business"
will be interchangeable and mean any group conducting
business within the United States or global economies.
Defining these terms gives the background needed to
introduce the study conducted in this thesis and the
discussion that follows. As the paper unfolds it becomes
clear there are as many definitions of corporate
reputation and corporate image as there are companies.
Purpose of the Study
The more research done on corporate reputation and
image, the more complex the topic gets. Every study
attempts to describe the intangible aspect of reputation
and image. Yet the topic seems to broaden instead of
narrow. A common thread among all the studies covered in
this thesis revealed the importance of a good reputation
and image.
19


The purpose of this study was to discover the status
of the Colorado Rockies corporate image and reputation.
The questionnaire polled employees of the company and
students from a university in the same city. The reason
for the comparative study was twofold. First, an
internal audience of employees would be likely to have a
biased opinion about their employer and not be able to
give an accurate opinion. However, the internal group
can reveal the core image the Colorado Rockies seeks to
create. Second, an external group should have more of an
objective opinion, although it may be a perceived one.
Comparing data of people both inside and outside the
company attempted to give a better perception of the
company's image and reputation. The results uncovered
differences and areas where changes in company philosophy
and policies may be needed.
The Colorado Rockies Baseball Club is a company made
up of major league baseball players, minor league
baseball players, coaches, trainers, and front-office
personal. In the organization, there is one major league
team located in Denver, Colorado. Four teams make up the
minor league system. They are the Colorado Springs,
Colorado Sky Sox, the New Haven, Connecticut Ravens,
20


the Salem, Virginia Avalanche, the Portland, Oregon -
Rockies and the Mesa, Arizona Rockies. The employees
from each team are divided into two basic groups:
uniformed and non-uniformed personal (i.e. baseball and
business). On the baseball side, concentration is placed
on hitting, pitching and fielding. Employees who work in
the front offices focus on corporate sponsorships, ticket
sales, media and community relations, finance, and
administration. The number of business employees ranges
from approximately 140 full- and part-time people in
Denver to Mesa's staff of five full-time workers.
Although each team is separately owned and operated, they
all are incorporated into the Colorado Rockies
organization. For this study only full-time business
employees of the Colorado Rockies office in Denver were
candidates for the internal group.
The questionnaire was presented to both groups
within a two-week time frame during May, 1996. Colorado
Rockies employees received their questionnaires through
the internal mail system of the company's front office.
It was accompanied by a brief explanation of the purpose
of the study and a deadline of two weeks to finish and
return the survey. Although the reason for the study was
21


clear, the person who conducted the study remained
anonymous. Upon completion, the employees returned the
questionnaire back through the internal mail system.
Results were recorded for all questionnaires submitted
within the deadline, however, no others were received
after the cut off time.
The external group was composed of students from
four classes at the University of Colorado Denver campus.
The student's questionnaires were distributed at the
beginning or end of four different classes. Three of the
classes consisted of communications students. The other
class was from the graduate business college.
Questionnaires given to the students were accompanied by
the same explanation the employees received. Although
the students did see the person conducting the study,
minimal introduction was given by the class instructor.
The research in the study used the Likert scale. It
presented 24 single statements. Participants were asked
to check a corresponding number that was closest to their
opinion for each statement. If the number "one" was
chosen, it indicated the strongest possible disagreement.
The number "seven" was the strongest possible agreement.
A response of "four" represented neutrality or no
22


opinion. A check placed under "two, three, five or six"
symbolized a weaker opinion.
The statements covered four areas: public image, use
of media and communication habits, experiences when
attending baseball games, and community relations. Each
category served to glean a variety of perceptions from
each group. Individual scores suggested how each
participant felt. The accumulated scores showed
differences between the employees (the internal group),
and the students representing the external group.
In the public image category, statements such as
"the 1995 work stoppage lowered the image of the Colorado
Rockies" revealed whether the statement resulted in the
respondents perceiving the company as having a positive,
negative or neutral image. The company and entire
baseball industry received an enormous amount of negative
publicity leading up to, during, and after the eight
month labor strike between August, 1995 and April, 1996.
Responses to this statement showed the perceived effect
the strike had on the image of the Colorado Rockies.
Media usage statements focused on habits the
respondents had of receiving information from print and
electronic media or through personal contact. "I base my
23


opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast
news" and other similar statements revealed where the
employees and the students got news about the company and
baseball team. The results showed how much each source
was used.
General statements like, "People attending games
have a good experience" showed how the two groups felt
about the image and reputation of the Colorado Rockies in
terms of game day experiences. Although there were not
as many statements in this category as there were in the
image and media portions of the survey, these statements
hold much weight. The greatest exposure the Colorado
Rockies receive is about the team. When people come to
Coors Field, it gives them a hands-on experience of
attending a major league baseball game. The reaction of
attending just one game can outweigh many other larger
and more significant image-related actions of the company
(i.e. giving a $1,000,000 grant to the Denver Public
Schools). The experiences of 50,000 fans attending 81
home games add up to an enormous, collective opinion.
Because community relations is such an important
issue in the corporate mix, a few statements were placed
into the questionnaire that related to this area. A
24


sample statement was, "I believe the Colorado Rockies
have an interest in practicing community relations."
Cultural diversity, multiculturalism, and community
relations is growing in importance in corporate America,
along with the number of minorities within each ethnic
group. How various ethnic circles perceive how a company
treats and understands them will begin to have more of an
impact on a company's success.
If the Colorado Rockies had a favorable image in the
four areas of image, media, game experience and community
relations, the opinions (means) of each group were high.
If the employees and students did not agree with a
statement, the student's means tended to be lower.
Calculating the significance between each statement's
means, using a t-test produced a significance level. A
significance level of .05 or above indicated an absence
or low amount of difference. Significance levels below
.05 (for example, .00896), revealed highly significant
differences between the means from the two groups.
Levels below .05 also demonstrated the chance for error
factoring into the answers was very low.
This study had a purpose as how it attempted to
relate to a few aspects of today's business environment.
25


A variety of internal and external actions contribute to
the public image of a company, therefore many reputation
and image topics were explored in this thesis. The
history of the stages in American capitalism are reviewed
to give background on how companies have operated in the
past. With each stage, more human social characteristics
were introduced, giving the intangible aspect of image an
increased and more important role.
Whether a company contributes purposely or
accidently to its image, it always has an image.
Procedures and ideas of how to create a corporate image
are discussed.
Different influences on image are covered including
the affect of corporate culture on image, the affect of
ethics on image, the affect of a company's employees on
image, the CEO's affect on image, the stakeholder's
affect on image, and the influence of the media on image.
The role of these groups depends on how much influence
they each have. The amount of influence can shift back
and forth depending on timing and individual situations.
Each of these groups contributes to the image and
reputation and to the perception of the image and
reputation as well.
26
(


Once a public image is obtained, several factors
contribute to maintaining it. As noted previously,
actions of all the stakeholders of a company contribute
to the company's reputation, whether knowingly or not.
The contributions can result in a favorable, unfavorable
or mixed public image. Corporations who understand the
importance a good image has on success will encourage the
use of tangible and intangible actions and symbols to
promote a favorable image. If a corporation is perceived
as having a bad image, management and employees must
evaluate how it was obtained and make necessary changes
to build a better image. The review of the literature in
chapter two examines these issues.
27


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Corporate reputation and image have evolved and
changed throughout the history of America and capitalism.
The modern and postmodern capitalistic eras have been a
part of the American corporate culture since 1875.
Changes in Capitalism
A description of changes of management styles in
capitalism, as described by Eisenberg and Goodall,
explained the onset of corporate image and reputation.
Since 1875, four different corporate operational theories
have been used. These included the classical approach,
human relations approach, systems approach and the
postmodernism approach. Each of these eras saw an
increase in human involvement in business methods. As
businesses have socialized over the years, they have
taken on a human personality. Like a person, the
personality of a corporation is made of character, image
and reputation. This is a reflection of the people
inside and outside the company.
28


The classical approach was popular during the late
1800s and early 1900s. It emphasized top-down narratives
of truth, power and control. Those people on the top had
the power to control and interpret stories in their
favor. During this time American railroad companies
initiated public relations communication. The goal of
public relations was to justify the cheap labor used to
bulldoze a path for the railroad that made its way
through the country (George Cheney & Steven Vibbert,
1987) .
During the 1930s the old ways of the classical
approach and bureaucracy began to be questioned. Harvard
professor Elton Mayo's human relations theory stressed
the limits of individual rationality and the importance
of interpersonal relations. He felt society was
comprised of groups not individuals (Mayo, 1945) During
World War II, the United States government perfected the
use of public relations through propaganda about the
country's war efforts.
Sociologist Walter Buckley (1967) made the systems
approach popular after World War II with his idea that
the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With the
information revolution, a task was expanded to include
29


how it functioned as part of entire system. The phrase,
"plan your work and work your plan" was coined by
management during this period in capitalism. Public
relations became more influential as explained by Edward
Bernays, a pioneer in the corporate communications field.
He said a public relations professional "interprets the
client to the public, which he is enabled to do in part
because he interprets the public to the client" (Bernays,
1923, p. 4).
Postmodernism has involved into a fluid, team-like
approach to business. The five principles of postmodern
organizations were defined as: decentralization of
power; constant, rapid and contradictory changes in
markets and commodity values; flattening of hierarchies;
cultures of trust built on respect for differences; and
use of groups (Eisenberg & Goodall, Jr. 1993). As
communication technology grew with the changing corporate
cultures, public relations became more proactive and
sophisticated. The use of prepared marketing tools
increased with the introduction of press releases, press
conferences, corporate brochures and corporate reports
(Cheney & Vibbert, 1987).
30


Each stage in capitalism influenced all parts of the
culture and visa versa. Each time the population was
influenced, their perceptions of American culture
changed.
Changes in Corporate Culture
Although research on successful management styles
has discouraged the classical approach, many corporations
continued to believe in its success. The classical
approach has as many limitations today as it did in its
early stages.
Many corporate managers view themselves as an
isolated part of the society in which they belong.
Accomplishing the business objective of increased profits
is the only obligation they feel is necessary.
A statement from Leonard Silk and David Vogel in
Ethics and Profits: The Crisis of Confidence in American
Business. defended capitalism and the corporation:
Business is being criticized . . . for doing
the same things that made it a hero just a few
years ago. Business hasn't changed; society
has changed. The period from the end of World
War II to the late nineteen-sixties was a time
when what people wanted and what business
provided were perfectly synchronized. What has
happened since is that the views of the country
have shifted (Silk & Vogel, 1976).
31


Gray continued the discussion of business ethics in
his book, Managing the Corporate Image. He said the
current state of cultural confusion is a result of
weakened traditional institutions. Without business, the
driving force of the American economy, having the
wherewithal to take a stand, some groups leading the way
are not as ethical as the groups with the traditional,
straightforward values. New rules have been written that
lack boundaries. They are followed as if they were
ethical.
Several things have happened in the last few decades
that have changed and weakened the relationship between
the people of America and its capitalistic structure.
The public lost the trust of many traditional
institutions, including American business. Now more than
ever, everyone from the company CEO down to the average
consumer must accept the social responsibility of all
actions by corporate America to maintain capitalism as an
ethical institution.
If good, strong ethics in the United States become
weaker and fewer, it will be reflected in how American
corporations operate. An unethical population will
perceive unethical corporations to be right. The world
32


is full of ethical and unethical practices, making it
hard for companies to identify what is right. Doing
things right may be harder, but as previous authors have
shown, rewards to the image are great (Gray, 1986).
Another change in capitalism has been the importance
placed on minority communities. Corporations have begun
targeting ethnic groups for sales and awareness. Moore
(1980) stated that often if race and prejudicial issues
come to the forefront, it is reflected on all aspects of
the company. Although a discriminatory issue may be
minor, it can grow and reflect an entire lack of social
responsibility by the company, whether that is true or
not. Corporations are beginning to put more emphasis on
understanding the needs, feelings and attitudes of ethnic
groups.
Changes in capitalism and corporate culture have
affected the image and reputation of corporate America.
Many companies are beginning to put more emphasis on the
need to develop a sound, positive and public image.
Creation of the Corporate Image
Reputation is developed and changed over time.
Consistent behavior helps reinforce the reputation
33


whether it is favorable or not. Creating the corporate
image and reputation takes constant attention to all
facets of the corporation so they work together to
improve. A positive corporate reputation can lead to
several things: the ability to hire outstanding people
for top-level positions, raise needed capital, and the
ability to operate in local and global markets. A
company's sales also rely on corporate identity and
reputation (Sobol et al, 1992).
According to Chajet (1989), "a corporate identity,
is to corporate image what exercise is to physical
fitness . and a good image reflects a fit
corporation" (p. 18). Within a corporation's business
strategy, the corporate image is the most visible. Out
of all the major components of a company -- product,
price, place, promotion and personnel -- the corporate
identity is the part that carries the most weight.
Besides communication, many current corporate reputation
topics have also begun to look at the human and social
aspects that influence the image of companies.
Communication tools such as advertising, press
releases, newsletters, e-mails and web sites are vital in
getting a company's message out to the mass population of
34


the country and the world. These tools, that are part of
the post-industrial, high-tech society, have de-
emphasized personal contact between people. Machines
communicate and work now where a voice or actual person
was there before. The downside to the efficiency of
technology is that personal communication decreases.
Alan Siegel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Siegel & Gale Public Relations, stated in a 1993 article
that consumers want to know the story of the company.
They want to know what the company stands for and how it
differs from the competition. They want to know how the
business and its products affect them. The answers to
these probing questions lay in management style, quality
of products and environmental concerns. They all
contribute to the strong impact the company's reputation
has on consumers.
Another strong correlation, according to Kevin
Clancy of Yankelovich Clancy Shulman research company, is
between corporate reputation and supportive customer
behavior that relates to consumer buying habits. A
Yankelovich survey found a person is more likely to buy a
company's product if they perceive it as a "winner"
(Clancy, 1992).
35


Wartick's (1992) development of reputation and media
exposure led him to search for factors that have had the
most influence on a corporation. Many things determine
an image because there are as many reputations as their
are stakeholders in a corporation.
Research has also shown public relations
practitioners believe corporate reputation is many things
including, "the way a corporation is perceived by its
various audiences," "my gut reaction about a company" and
"the first five words that come to my mind about a
company" (Sobol et al, 1992, p. 50-51).
The research disclosed corporate reputation depends
on the experiences of many audiences. Corporate
reputation is not a single opinion, but the synthesis of
a variety of considered opinions about operations, image,
quality, customer service, community involvement,
employee relations, management style, financial strength,
and use of corporate assets.
A survey of CEOs exhibited the three key things that
a company can do to enhance its corporate reputation are
"service, service, service" "credibility, integrity, and
reliability," and "perform as promised" (Sobol et al,
1992, p. 68). Both public relations professionals and
36


CEOs share many of the same beliefs about corporate
reputation. They believe a good reputation can produce
success in labor, finance, products and community and
that a good reputation increases profits. Bad reputation
detracts from success, reduces business, and causes
customers to seek alternatives. Bad reputation
contributes to creating poor morale and reduces the
number and strength of investors.
If a company can increase customer satisfaction,
corporate reputation improves, particularly if the
company spreads the news of this satisfaction to a wide
audience. Reputation strengthens if a company provides
outstanding products and services, and it is also a
financial success. Financial soundness helps cause a
good reputation, but a good reputation also can help
cause financial soundness (Sobol et al, 1992).
As John Higgins stated in a 1992 article titled,
"Corporate Identity and the Service Professions," in
order for a company to create a winning perception, it
must be realistic. Consumers sense the difference
between an image based on substance and character and one
made of fancy graphics and high-tech bells and whistles.
The best way to communicate what a corporation stands for
37


is through old-fashioned, one-on-one business
relationships. Through the strength of relationships,
management and employees learn to recognize and
understand the needs'of their customers and the
environments in which they work (Higgins, 1992).
Part of the relationship philosophy includes image
programs involving partnership, long-term status and
results. Laurence Ackerman, a partner in the firm of
Anspach Grossman Portugal, Inc., used these terms to
describe the daily business climate that goes on in a
capitalist economy. He said a partnership means, "we're
in it together." Long-term status is described as,
"you'd better make sure you respect me in the morning."
Results are measured by, "what have you done for me
lately." These ideas boil down to the fact that business
is people and people are relationships. Businesses must
take the lead to establish and maintain healthy
relationships with their customers so the two cultures
can understand each other (Ackerman, 1993).
All corporate communication involves many personal
and non-personal factors. Company-wide communications
can be more important than external communication because
employees are on-going advertisers. A pro-active
38


communication plan that is accessible to all and easily-
understood can cut through the noise created by other
companies who choose shallow messages, instead of the
proven way to success through truth and integrity
(Siegel, 1993) .
Through all forms of communication, consumers
develop more than just a winning or losing perception of
a corporation. Over time, corporations acquire
personalities that are part real and part myth. Although
the product and service of the company are the most
prevalent images representing it, signs and symbols
portraying the product are surface signals of which the
company's foundation is built (Siegel, 1993).
The defining, creating and building of a corporate
image is an on-going, day-to-day process. Many external
stakeholders develop their opinions based on the internal
networks of the company. These networks are made up of
what is called corporate culture.
The Influence of Corporate Culture on Image
A company's values and objectives must be
communicated to the employees so they know what is
expected of them. Values and objectives are part of what
39


is called "corporate culture" (Chajet, 1992). Corporate
culture is like public culture. It consists of countless
written and unwritten rules that peers teach each other.
The internal culture is naturally communicated
externally. Employee's actions and ways of communicating
have a rippling effect on everyone they meet. A Gallup
poll revealed each employee influenced an average of 50
people in the community (Aranoff, 1983). This influence
reflected both positive and negative images of companies.
To understand corporate culture, the ways in which
people communicate both inside and outside their work
environment must be discussed.
Eisenberg and Goodall gave four major definitions of
communication that apply to the corporate environment.
The first defined communication as an "information
transfer," meaning that one source transmitted a message
through a channel. The source used the message as a tool
to accomplish objectives. Communication as a
"transactional process" meant the person who received the
message interpreted its meaning. Communication as a
"strategic control" emphasized many different meanings
can be derived from a single message. The two authors
defined communication in relation to corporations as a
40


balancing of creativity and constraint. They said
"communication is the moment-to-moment working out of the
tension between individual creativity and organizational
constraint" (p. 21-30). Eisenberg and Goodall believed
creativity is welcomed because it promotes change and
constraint is needed because it maintains order. All
employees of a corporation blend creativity and
constraint together to form the organization's cultural
environment.
Without relationships between people, corporate
culture would not exist. Without communication there
would not be any relationships. Every relationship
involves the aspects of the self, others and contexts.
Contexts consist of how people interpret and make sense
of the communication exchanges that contribute to their
culture. In the work place, the context of communication
in relationships and situations helps form the corporate
culture.
Corporate culture was popularized by a man named
William Ouchi in 1981. His "Theory Z" said that in order
for a corporation to survive, it must be able to adapt to
change. It emphasized the point that employees who
developed a sense of community within their company were
41


more likely to be motivated to achieve their goals and in
turn their company's.
The following year, 1982, a book hit the corporate
world by storm. In Search of Excellence, written by Tom
Peters and Robert Waterman researched the corporate
culture of 62 successful companies. They determined all
the companies had eight common features that made them
successful in terms of culture:
1. A bias for action. (Decisions are made quickly,
following a change in the business environment.)
2. Close relations to the customer. (Continuous
attention to relationships helps companies remember
who their customers are.)
3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship. (Empowering
employees enhances risk-taking, individual
responsibility and creativity.)
4. Productivity through people. (Good people equals
good products and services.)
5. Hands-on, value-driven. (Strong values practiced
by management encourage employees to do the same.)
6. Stick to knitting. (Do not diversify to the
point of losing site of the main product.)
7. Simple form, lean staff. (Avoid bureaucracy.)
42


8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties. (Successful
companies constantly switch back and forth between
uncontrolled and controlled actions depending on the
reaction to changes.)
The Influence of Ethics on Image
Deciding whether to do the right thing is not a new
idea in the business world. In order for a corporation
to have a sound and credible image, business practices
must be based on ethos, a philosophy of Aristotle, the
Ancient greek scholar. Aristotle defined the terms
"ethos." "pathos" and "logos" in his textbook titled,
Rhetoric. R.C. Jebb interpreted Aristotle's definitions
in his book, The Rhetoric of Aristotle: A Translation.
Ethos. pathos, and logos are forms of proof and
persuasion. In a capitalistic economy the seller must
persuade the buyer to make a purchase. Jebb interpreted
ethos as a form of proof used when presenting an argument
or opinion that helped persuade the audience to agree
with the presenter. Much of ethos depends on the
credibility and believability of the speaker. Ethos
underlies the other two forms of persuasion known as
logos and pathos. Logos is referred to as logic and
43


rationality. Pathos represents the emotions of both the
presenter and the listener (Jebb, 1909). Ethos is a
mind-set. It relates to thoughts about psychological and
sociological actions. The world is viewed differently
because of ethos. People can see the same situation
differently because they have different ethos.
The importance of ethos according to Aristotle is
"the speech is so spoken as to make the speaker credible;
for we trust good men more and sooner, as a rule, about
everything; while, about things which do not admit of
precision, but only guess-work, we trust them absolutely"
(Jebb, 1909, p. 6). This means if a person does not know
anything about a subject, they will believe most of what
is said by someone who is perceived as knowledgeable
about the topic.
de Ortego y Gasca (1994) defined ethos as the sum
of an individual's behavior. He stated,
Ethos is the way of life characteristic of a
particular society in its deep-seated habits of
thinking and acting. Ethos contribute to the
collective identity of people, to their sense of
continuity, to their consciousness of belonging to a
particular group that exists in time and has existed
historically and speciously across the generations
(p. 6) .
In this sense a corporation can be thought of as a small
society.
44


Today the term ethics is a reflection of the ancient
meaning of ethos. Ethics is the basis by which we judge
all things. Every decision, task, communication and
process carried out by every person in a company is based
on individual ethical and cultural backgrounds. A highly
ethical company is created over time by its product,
advertising, employees, management, customers and many
other elements.
Ethics constitutes values placed on a person by the
person themselves and by the society in which they live.
Ethics involve rules for what is right and wrong, as well
as actions and decisions made by people reflecting how
they follow and carry out the rules (de Ortego y Gasca,
1994) .
Michel Foucault, a student of philosophy, psychology
and psychiatry, defined and placed ethics into four
categories: ethical substance, mode of subjection,
asceticism and telos. These terms can be applied to
individuals and institutions such as the American
corporation. According to Foucault, ethical substance
is, "the part of the self that is taken into account or
subjected to ethics--the prime material of moral conduct"
(p. 352). In relation to business, ethics is the
45


subconscious of all the individuals of every company in
America. The mode of subjection is, "the way in which
people are invited or incited to recognize their moral
obligations" (p. 353). This would relate to the loyalty
a business would feel is owed to the cultural aspects in
which it is a part. Asceticism or self-discipline is
defined by Foucault as, "the techniques to be used or the
ethical work to be performed to bring the self into
compliance with the moral code" (p. 355). This is
related to every task, conversation and decision by
everyone involved with the company. Telos is, "the image
of the right sort of person or life. What is considered
to be the state of perfection or completion according to
the moral code" (p. 362). The company mission statement,
objectives and goals to be reached would involve a
picture of telos (Foucault, 1984).
Through time a company can become ethical.
Professor Frank Wylie, prescribed ten steps to follow in
order for a company to have good ethics:
1. Realize people will react to management's ethics
and this will effect the bottom line,
2. unethical behavior alienates employees,
3. anything used to promote ethics must be
46


definitive, decisive and in the public interest,
4. management must have the guts to break away from
the norm,
5. the company should build allies and public
support before a crisis,
6. plans must be made in long-range terms, contain
imagination, and use time and money wisely,
7. the company must establish and have an on-going
relationship with legislators, public administrators
and key media contacts,
8. people must realize the costs of communicating
and implementing ethical practices out-weigh the
costs of non-ethical behavior,
9. all departments, not just public relations, must
understand and practice ethics established by the
company, and
10. to remain ethical, everyone in the company must
be on top of what the company is doing and how the
outside world affects them personally and as a
company employee (Wylie, 1991).
Aristotle, Jebb, de Ortego y Gasca, Foucault, and
Wylie made points about how much ethics affects the
reputation and image of a company. Every person affects
47


corporate reputation and image in different ways.
Reputation and image affects people in different ways
too. The CEO, employees, corporate stakeholders, and
media all contribute to the corporate image.
The CEO's Influence on Image
The CEO leads the entire company and decides the
course of all business strategies. Whoever the CEO,
their views and plans for social accountability must
permeate throughout the company. Without an idea of the
corporation's commitment to society, employees do more
harm with lack of information or by possessing the wrong
information. Sherwin Rosen quoted the CEO of Coca-Cola,
Roberto Goizueta, in an article in the American Economic
Review. Goizueta said, "A CEO is ultimately responsible
for the growth of a company as evidenced by its financial
performance, its capacity for self-renewal, and
character. The only way you can measure character is by
reputation."
The Fortune study cited earlier also showed that
companies with the highest ratings were those that had
CEOs employed by the same corporation for at least 20
years. Corporations with low ratings had a much higher
48


turn-over rate with their CEOs. The study concluded poor
performance reflected poor management (Claire Makin,
1983).
CEOs who only see debits and credits have tarnished
American's corporate image over the last 20 years. The
results of an annual Louis Harris poll showed 55% of the
American public had confidence in corporate executives in
the mid-1960s. By 1984 the percentage had fallen to 18%
(Ann Crittenden, 1984). Frequent mergers and
acquisitions have convinced the average consumer that
CEOs have only their individual interests in mind, not
the community's.
The difference in Lee Iacoca was evident in the
early 1980s. When he was fired from Ford Motor Company,
he took over the bankrupt Chrysler corporation. After
Iacoca asked the United States government for billions of
dollars worth of loans, he began making pleas to the
American public. Using straightforward advertising
messages, he claimed Chrysler had changed and the company
was ready to give the modern auto consumer what they
wanted. His plan worked. People trusted him enough to
try a Chrysler car or truck. The quality of the product
proved his affirmation was right.
49


If a company cannot satisfy the needs of consumers,
buyers will go to companies that can. The entire Detroit
auto industry is a good example. Consumers wanted
reliable and economic cars. That was something only
foreign car makers provided during the late 1970s and
early 1980s. Until American auto makers started
providing what consumers wanted, their sales plummeted
(Gray, 1986). During this time, the mood in Detroit was
very dark, but the circumstances forced the manufacturers
to reevaluate their companies and move forward.
The CEO should be the one constant reference point.
If the CEO shies away from the public, the public usually
forms its own negative opinion of the company and
perceives it as lacking human and social responsibilities
(Siegel, 1993) .
Leadership from Iacoca and other Detroit automobile
manufacturers showed that a CEO who anticipates the
future and has the courage to speak their opinion can
change a loser image and company into a winner.
Corporate managers also must communicate this confident
message to their staff. Employees follow the leadership
set in place by management and have an enormous influence
on the corporate image.
50


The Employees' Influence on Image
The internal ethics of a company contributed by the
CEO greatly effects its public image. The ethics, values
and norms of employees of the company work to create the
corporation's reputation and image as well. A
corporation must personalize itself and make consumers
believe its business practices are good and right.
Inside every corporation are individual people. Each of
them must make a personal commitment to contribute to the
positive image of the company.
There are two major internal groups of image makers
in every corporation. The first is public relations
personnel. The people in this department are responsible
for constantly and consistently building and maintaining
the corporate reputation. The second most influential
role in the corporation is that of the CEO. This
individual greatly influences every aspect of the
company. The CEO can single-handedly define, enhance and
nurture the corporate image (Sobol et al., 1992).
Using a combination of ethical practices, the CEO
and all departments within a company create its own image
using all three of Aristotle's forms of persuasion.
According to Siegel, how the company decides to use
51


persuasion to communicate directly and indirectly becomes
the reality of the company. Management should
continuously communicate the message to employees and the
public. Honest messages to both groups will move the
company forward through integrated marketing efforts
(i.e. common messages). The employees naturally
communicate the message sent to them by the management,
whether the message is good or bad. The link between
employees and the outside world forms a web and unites
all the external groups that are somehow related to the
company. The individuals in each group become
stakeholders of the company.
Management must put their company's image in a clear
and concise message and tell it to all stakeholders (i.e.
employees, consumers, vendors and neighbors). It is
vital the original message is clear. The more
intelligible the original message, the more likely it
will be correctly communicated by the employees and other
stakeholders. In turn, these same groups must understand
and accept the message. They must be committed to
carrying out the messages otherwise, the messages are
never heard (Siegel, 1993).
52


All aspects of building the corporation's public
image including public relations, advertising, and
employee training cost money. In tough economic times,
these are usually the first departments to experience
cuts. Many companies fail to realize the importance of
the work performed in these departments because their
influence is not easily measurable. Numerous managers
ask, "what good do these departments do?" According to
leading experts in the business world they are the most
influential departments in the corporation. They can
make or break the success of a company. Today's
corporations must use these areas to communicate to
customers and potential customers if they expect to
remain competitive and stay in business.
The most readily available resource to create and
nurture a corporation's reputation is its employees.
John Dobson (1991) said, "reputation acts as a
contractual enforcement mechanism and therefore induces
trustworthiness as a natural consequence of wealth
maximization" (p. 18). This means that given the chance,
employees in the organization are reliable and
trustworthy. Their behavior contributes to the long-term
success of the company.
53


Employees are the ambassadors of every company.
They are in contact with many circles of people outside
the organization. These groups of stakeholders in burn
carry out the image and reputation messages of a company.
Stakeholder's View of the Corporate Image
A corporation usually has private owners, but it
influences and is influenced by many public groups. The
variety of stakeholders produces many opinions. The four
most important stakeholders of a company are its
customers, employees, investors and nearby communities.
The number of stakeholders has expanded in recent years.
For example, Gulf Oil had 17 different sets of
stakeholders in 1960. By 1980 the list had grown to 34
(Cantor, 1984).
Although all stakeholders, whether passively or
aggressively, have an interest in corporations, the
degree of the influence depends on the power of the
group. Each stakeholder's role supports the company in
its own way. Corporations must listen and respond to
each of these group's needs and concerns. Response must
be effective so all the stakeholders so each group feels
their interests are being met (Cantor, 1984) .
54


Corporate culture, ethics, the CEO, employees and
stakeholders can all influence the corporate image. The
power of all these groups combined may not be able to
measure up to the power of one group ---- the media.
The Influence of the Media on Corporate Image
No one picks up messages from a company's
stakeholders, whether correct or incorrect, faster than
the media. Reporters have always taken a broad view of
business and reported how its actions and influences
affect various parts of the culture. Journalists are
constantly thinking, "Is the CEO telling all of the
story? Part of the story? All of the truth? Part of
the truth?" The reporters mold the answers to these
questions into facts they report in their stories. The
job of the media is to seek out and find the answers and
use them to paint a responsible and objective picture
(Baron, 1991). A story can contain information gathered
on a breaking story, the company's employees, its impact
on the community, quality of products, service, price and
profits, etc.. The details and facts are transferred
into a news story and reported through electronic and/or
print methods.
55


Good media relations departments provide news for
the media to report. Using the media is a very quick and
economic way corporations can get a message out. The
relationship between the media and corporations is as
unique as the relationship between an individual reporter
and the corporate spokesperson. A good relationship
usually results in a cooperative and understanding
journalist. A good or bad relationship can greatly
influence the amount of press a company receives and how
objective the report (Moore, 1980).
As in the past, there often exists a strain between
corporations and the media. Modern, mega-media companies
thrive on being aggressive, plentiful, and profitable. A
company spokesperson can no longer get away with "no
comment." Keeping secrets from the media and the public
was once standard practice. Today, the media and public
feel corporations owe them an explanation for any
business action whether the company considers it private
or not. The practice of withholding information is a
motivator for media inquiry. Investigative reporting
usually digs up something because a scoop is what sells
the news (Gray, 1984).
56


Companies with successful images know the importance
of the media and openly work with them. Media-savvy
corporations realize top priority should be given to
keeping the lines of communication open between the
company and its media contacts. Shrewd companies create
and manage media opportunities, inventing various angles
of their "news" and offering a conducive environment to
tell their story (Richard Mau, 1991).
The media can greatly influence and educate the
public about a corporation's positive image and
reputation. Once all the stakeholders are in place,
communicating the company's values and culture, and
influencing the perception of the image becomes a daily
maintenance task. Many stakeholders work to preserve the
image the corporation has worked so hard to create.
Maintenance of the Corporate Image
Corporations must continually try to understand the
constantly changing business world and adapt to maintain
a successful business and corporate image. Those
companies that can convince the greatest number of people
what they are doing is right, will gain the most trust
and maintain success. As Fombrun (1996) said, "The more
57


trustworthy a company appears to its key constituents,
the better regarded the company will be" (p. 69).
Trust and ethics must permeate throughout all
business communications. A well thought-out and followed
mission statement, along with sound and realistic goals
that reflect the philosophy of the company, are the
backbone of successful corporations. Every decision made
must mirror the direction stated in the mission
statement. A multi-directional and chaotic plan can
quickly weaken an image that has taken so long to build.
The challenge is to stay focused amid growing influence
from competition and culture changes. Yet, even the
established companies can get sidetracked by the
introduction of new products and technology. An example
of how easily this can happen is presented by Charles
Hucker, Division Vice President Public Affairs and
Communication at Hallmark Cards, Inc. He stated:
J.C. Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards, had values
including quality, creativity, ethical behavior,
respect for the individual and commitment to the
community that are still prevalent today. However,
with the marketplace becoming more fragmented and
competitive, Hallmark must remind themselves of
these ethics established more than fifty years ago
to remember who they are (Hucker, 1991).
Susan Small-Weil, Chief Planning Officer of Warwick
Baker & Fiore Inc., also supported the Hallmark
58


philosophy. She said diversity should be used to cater
to the consumer's needs, but never used to replace the
company's image. While new information and technology
were important, it would never be as important as the
image of the company (Small-Weil, 1991).
Fombrun believes maintaining a good reputation is
the hardest thing to do. Once a company has established
itself as a success to the four most important
stakeholders (customers, employees, investors and
communities), the company is pressured by these groups to
improve continually. Maintaining the reputation requires
constant attention to create and sustain relationships
with customers, employees, investors and communities.
Another reason reputation is hard to maintain is
that it cannot be measured in financial terms. According
to Donald Kieso and Jerry Weygrandt in their book,
Intermediate Accounting. "Measuring the components of
goodwill ... is simply too complex and associating any
costs with future benefits is too difficult" (p. 598).
Although hard to measure, nobody would deny the fact
there have been many intangible events that have
influenced the American business culture and has brought
the economy to where it is today.
59


The Literature's Influence on the Study
As the literature in this thesis has shown,
influences to the corporate reputation and image come
from many directions. Ethics, the CEO, employees,
external stakeholders, and the media all have the power
to influence corporate image. As the role of the culture
changes, these influential groups must see that corporate
culture changes are implemented. If corporations choose
to remain oblivious to its surrounding communities, the
capitalistic institution will become weaker and more
fragmented. The American public will turn to those
institutions who show a concern for them.
The more today's business culture is explored, the
better prepared businesses will be for the future. As
research continues, new questions will be asked and the
always-changing answers will reflect new technology and
trends. These new ideas can advance capitalism to the
next century and the next business level if corporate
America chooses to move forward.
This thesis has explored the perceived image an
internal and external group has on a company, the
Colorado Rockies. Comparing the opinions of the two
groups is a comparison of naturally biased and unbiased
60


opinions. The Colorado Rockies have had an impact on the
community and the baseball industry. The results of the
study have shown the effect of this impact.
61


CHAPTER 3
HYPOTHESIS
The many studies and articles on corporate
reputation and corporate image have revealed three major
issues. First, every area of a company contributes to
the corporate reputation. Employees, products, marketing
and advertising, invoices and payment schedules, dress
codes, press conferences and press releases are some
examples of the people and processes that create the
total corporate image. In the case of the Colorado
Rockies, the baseball team contributes to the image along
with the business office personnel.
Second, corporate reputation is different things to
different people. Although all stakeholders can agree
upon the attributes that make up the whole corporate
image, each group will weigh certain attributes
differently. The most important factor to.one group is
not the most important to others.
Third, many attributes can be used to measure
corporate reputation. Fortune magazine's annual survey
62


measures reputation and image with eight different
categories. Individually, they could not give an
accurate account of a company's image, but together they
tell a strong and convincing story.
The studies cited up to this point examine a
corporation's reputation based on an outsider's
perspective of the company. To get more of an accurate
reading of a corporation's reputation, the study
presented in this thesis involved insiders and outsiders.
The questionnaire was given to both the employees of
the Colorado Rockies and a group of outsiders. The
results revealed interesting insights into corporate
reputation. By examining the answers of two different
groups to the same questions, perceptions can be compared
and analyzed.
Hypothesis Statement
The hypothesis of this study is: despite the
continuous and consistent messages put out by the
management and media relations department of the Colorado
Rockies, the internal and external groups surveyed will
have different opinions regarding the company-related
statements. The survey tested the perceptions of the
63


various messages put forth by the Colorado Rockies. Any
statements that provoked significantly dissimilar
responses from the insiders and outsiders uncovered
i
discrepancies in opinions and possible inconsistencies in
how the messages were translated and/or received.
Similar responses, represented by a significance
level of .05 or above, show a common opinion between the
internal and external groups.
Scope of the Study
To assess the image of the Colorado Rockies among
employees and the public, this study explored responses
of 24 image-related items in a three-page questionnaire.
Comparing internal versus external opinions gave a
broader impression of the company's image compared to
surveying just one group. The results gave interesting
information about what the outsiders felt was the
company's reputation. The results showed if employees of
the company felt the same as, or different from the
sample of outsiders. The employees, more than anyone,
should know and understand the company's objectives,
goals and philosophies. Each department has its own set
agendas. Together they make up the whole unit that is
64


the working and functioning business of the Colorado
Rockies the public sees and perceives. From the actions
and communications the company projects, the public
collectively pieces this information together to form an
opinion of the image and reputation of the Colorado
Rockies.
There are many internal stakeholders in every
company. The Colorado Rockies have several major
departments: Ownership, legal, community relations,
finance, baseball, stadium operations, media relations,
corporate sales and marketing, ticketing, merchandising
and administration. Within each department are
specialized areas.
The external public consists of several groups also.
They include, but are not limited to: season ticket
holders, individual game ticket holders, neighboring
residents of LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver), neighboring
businesses, vendors, suppliers, corporate sponsors,
media, friends and family of employees, residents of
Denver, the metro area, Colorado and the mountain region,
tourists who visit Coors Field and/or attend a game,
other professional sports teams in the Mile High City and
government agencies.
65


As discussed previously, image is something everyone
knows about, but is hard to measure. The image of the
Colorado Rockies, like any other company, is created by
the perceptions of employees, customers and other
stakeholders. The development and measurement of their
actions establish a company as good or bad, fair or
unfair, winner or loser, environmentally concerned or
environmentally unconscious, politically correct or
incorrect, successful or unsuccessful.
The questionnaire employed in this study attempted
to measure the image and reputation of the Colorado
Rockies. The questionnaire was administered to 138
Colorado Rockies full-time business employees. A total
of 83 questionnaires were returned or 60%. Surveys were
also given to a sample of students in four different
business and communication classes at the University of
Colorado at Denver. Of the 132 surveys distributed, 119
or 90% were returned. The questionnaires were
administered over a two-week period during May, 1996.
The survey contained 24 statements. Respondents
were asked to rate their opinions of each statement on a
seven-point Likert scale. "Seven" was extremely strong
agreement, "four" reflected a neutral opinion and "one"
66


was extremely strong disagreement. Checking "two,"
"three," "five" or "six" indicated somewhat of an
agreement or disagreement with the corresponding
statement.
There were four categories of statements. They
covered the topics of image of the Colorado Rockies,
media usage and communication, experiences at baseball
games and community relations practices of the Colorado
Rockies. The statements in the various categories were
mixed and reversed to avoid a patterned response.
Ten statements covered the general image of the
Colorado Rockies. There were nine media statements,
three baseball game statements and two statements
regarding community relations. The variety of topics
enabled the questionnaire to explore many reputation
aspects of the company.
67


CHAPTER 4
RESULTS OF THE STUDY
This thesis used a questionnaire to gain information
about the reputation and image perceptions of Denver's
major league baseball team and front office. The study-
surveyed full-time, non-uniformed employees of the
Colorado Rockies. The employees represented an internal
group. A sample of students from the University of
Colorado at Denver, which represented an external group,
were also surveyed. Answers to the two groups'
statements in a 24-item, Likert-scale questionnaire gave
insight to the opinions each had about the reputation and
image of the company. Each group's opinion was naturally
different. Employees cannot be objective about the
company, but they can give a true picture of the core
philosophy and attitude of which the company is made.
Outside groups will receive some of the messages each
company attempts to communicate, but will not have as
biased of an opinion as the company's own employees.
For ease of explanation, the statements are
presented here in tables representing their respective
68


categories: statements regarding image, statements
regarding media and communication usage, statements
regarding baseball games, and statements regarding
community relations. Each category's table shows the
number and exact wording of each statement, the mean of
the employees for each statement, the mean of the
students for each statement, and the significance level
calculated using both groups' mean for each statement.
The last line of each table indicates the mean of the
means. An explanation of the results of every category
follows each table. All items on the questionnaire were
Likert-type statements that employed a seven-point scale.
Participants were asked to rate their opinion of each
statement presented. Because of the odd number of points
on the scale, the responses are categorized in ranges to
make the answers more clear. For example, a mean of
exactly 4.0 would indicate neutrality. Unless a range is
established, a mean of 3.9 or 4.1 would not suggest
neutrality and that would not be accurate. The ranges
and their corresponding opinions used in the study appear
on the following page.
69


1.00 to 1.49 = extremely strong disagreement,
1.50 to 2.49 = strongly disagree,
2.50 to 3.49 = somewhat disagree,
3.50 to 4.49 = neutrality or no opinion,
4.50 to 5.49 = somewhat agree,
5.50 to 6.49 = strongly agree, and
6.50 to 7.00 = extremely strong agreement
Again, each table shows the mean for the two groups,
the significance level of a t-test between the two means,
the average of the means and the significance level of
the averaged means. By comparing the amount of
differences in the means, contrasting opinions become
apparent.
The image-related statements appear in Table 4.1.
These statements cover topics in relation to the general
image of the club, the image of some departments in the
company, and opinions of the effects of the latest
baseball strike.
70


TABLE 4.1
IMAGE-RELATED STATEMENTS
STATEMENT MEAN OF EMPLOYEES MEAN OF STUDENTS SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
1. I believe the Colorado Rockies care about their fans. 6.43 5.12 4.51E-15
9. The 1995 work stoppage did not lower my image of the Colorado Rockies1. 4.63 2.92 6.46E-10
11. The 1995 work stoppage lowered my image of baseball. 4.15 4.83 .013203
13. The Colorado Rockies practice good ethics. 5.65 4.66 1.9E-07
14. The Colorado Rockies in general have a positive image. 6.40 5.83 8.55E.05
15. The marketing efforts of the Colorado Rockies have a positive image. 5.84 5.62 .17659
17. The Colorado Rockies ticketing efforts have a positive image. 5.33 4.61 .000205
18. The Colorado Rockies community relations efforts have a positive image. 6.02 5.15 1.35E-07
21. The Colorado Rockies baseball efforts have a positive image. 6.12 5.46 2.58E-05
23. I believe other people feel the Colorado Rockies have a good reputation. 6.28 5.82 . 000626
MEAN OF MEANS 5.68 5.00
Ranges: 1.00-1.49 = extremely strong disagreement, 1.50-2.49 =
strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 =
neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and
6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement.
1 Statement 9 was reversed to a negative statement which made its
mean consistent with the others.
71


Employee Means for Image-Related Statements
Means for the employee group appear in the left-most
column of Table 4.1. The means of the study showed the
employee group strongly agreed with items 1, 13, 14, 15,
18, 21 and 23. Therefore, through the means it can be
inferred the employees believe the Rockies care about
their fans (1) and the organization practices good ethics
(13). The employees think the company (14) and marketing
department (15) have a good image. The study revealed
the employees think the Rockies community relations (18)
and baseball (21) efforts also have a positive image.
The employees also felt other people believe the
organization has a good reputation (23). In addition,
the means implied the employees had somewhat of an
agreement to statements nine and 17. The employees
agreed somewhat that the 1995 work stoppage did not lower
their image of the Rockies (9). They also believed the
Rockies ticketing efforts have somewhat of a positive
image (17). Lastly, the employees indicated neutrality
about item 11. They do not have an opinion on whether
the work stoppage lowered their image of baseball.
72


Student Means for Image-Related Statements
Means for the student group of respondents appear in
the middle column of Table 4.1. None of the means were
6.5 or above, although three of the items, 14, 15, and 23
fell into the strongly agree range. Therefore, the
students felt strongly the Rockies have a positive image
(14), and the marketing efforts do also (15). The
students also believed other people feel the company has
a good reputation (23). Six items (1, 11, 13, 17, 18,
and 21) were associated with means between 4.50 and 5.49.
The students were somewhat agreeable with all these
statements. The group agreed the Rockies care about
their fans (1) and that the work stoppage lowered their
image of baseball (11). They were also somewhat
agreeable that the Rockies practice good ethics (13), and
that the efforts of the ticketing (17), community
relations (18) and baseball departments (21) have a
positive image. The students disagreed somewhat the work
stoppage lowered their image of the Colorado Rockies (9).
Differences Between Employee and Student Means for
Image-Related Statements
The size of the differences between employee and
student means is shown in the right-most column in Table
73


4.1. The numbers reported in this column are the
significant levels of independent mathematical notation.
Therefore, 4.51E-15 actually means the difference between
the two means is significant at the .000000000000000451
level, (i.e. extremely significant). Anything above a
.05 shows no significance or that the chance for error
may have influenced the significance level.
All of the differences between means are significant
beyond the .05 level except ohe, item 15. Employees and
students exhibited no significant difference in their
attitudes toward the positive image of the team's
marketing efforts. Item 11 was the only item that the
student mean was higher than that for employees.
Students agreed somewhat, but statistically significantly
more than employees, that the Colorado Rockies care about
their fans. Students agreed less than employees with all
other items in Table 4.1. The answers have shown in
general, the internal, employee group had more of a
positive image of the company than the students.
Findings associated with media/communication-related
items are found in Table 4.2. These items explored what
types of media or other information-gathering methods
each group used to get information about the company.
74


TABLE 4.2
MEDIA/COMMUNICATION-RELATED STATEMENTS
STATEMENT MEAN OF EMPLOYEES MEAN OF STUDENTS SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
5. The Colorado Rockies understand the importance of communicating its news to the public. 6.02 5.44 .0005
7. The media keeps me familiar with the Colorado Rockies ticket prices and availability. 4.34 4.43 .688154
8. Through the media I am familiar with the Colorado Rockies baseball news. 5.55 5.58 .896402
10. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast advertising. 1.88 3.66 3.12E-15
12. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast news. 2.18 4.02 3.43E-14
16. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print advertising. 2.22 3.83 4.55E-13
19. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print news. 2.68 4.07 3.43E-09
20. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on word-of- mouth . 2.72 4.30 3.43E-09
22. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on direct contact with people in the organization. 5.45 3.12 2.92E-14
MEAN OF MEANS 3.67 4.27
Ranges:1.00-1.49 = extremely strong disagreement,1.50-2.49 =
strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 =
neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and
6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement.
75


Employee Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements
Means for the employee group appear in the left-most
column of Table 4.2. The findings have implied employees
strongly believed the Rockies understand the importance
of communicating its news to the public (5) and that
their group used the media to familiarize themselves with
baseball news (8). The employees were somewhat agreeable
to item 22, that they based their opinion of the company
by direct contact with other people in the organization.
Statements 19 and 20 show somewhat of a disagreement by
the employees. They did not necessarily base their
opinion on print news (19) or word-of-mouth (20). The
employees showed a neutral belief of statement 7,
indicating their group does not agree or disagree that
the media keeps them familiar with the Colorado Rockies
ticket prices and availability. There was strong
disagreement in three of the items (10, 12 and 16). The
means, ranging between 1.50 to 2.49, indicate the
employees did not base their opinion of the Rockies on
electronic/broadcast advertising (10),
electronic/broadcast news (12) or print advertising (16).
Through the results, it can be inferred the employees do
not use the media to gain information about the company.
76


Student Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements
Means for the student group of respondents appear in
the middle column of Table 4.2. One item, number 8,
scored above a 5.49. The mean showed the students were
in strong agreement that they used the media to keep
familiar with baseball news (8). The students felt some
agreement in item 5; the Rockies understand the
importance of communicating its new to the public.
Therefore, these means indicate the students agree with
the importance of the use of media by the company and
them.
For most all other statements, the students
expressed neutrality. The student means were neutral on
six of the ten items (7, 10, 12, 16, 19 and 20). The
students felt ambivalent that the media keeps them
familiar with ticket prices and availability (7).
Regarding types of media used, the students were neutral
to statements that they base their opinion of the
Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast advertising (10)
and electronic/broadcast news (12). They also had a
neutral opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print
advertising (16), print news (19) and word-of-mouth (20).
For statement 22, the student mean fell into the somewhat
77


disagree range. The mean suggested they did not base
their opinion on direct contact with people in the
organization.
The results of the study indicated the students
strongly agreed they used the media for news. However,
when asked about individual the media sources
(electronic/broadcast advertising and news, and print
advertising and news), they showed a neutral opinion.
Differences in Employee and Student Means for
Media/Communication-Related Statements
The size of the differences between employee and
student means is indicated in the right-most column in
Table 4.2. The numbers reported in the column are
significance levels of independent sample t-tests
comparing the two means. The significance levels are
reported in mathematical notation. Hence, 3.12E-15
actually means the difference between the two means is
significant at the .000000000000000312 level (i.e.
extremely significant). A level above .05 shows no
significant difference. Any level lower than .05 shows
differences that are significant.
All differences between the means are significant
except statements two, seven and eight. Employees and
78


students exhibited no significant difference in
perceptions toward their use of the media in keeping them
familiar with ticket prices and availability (7) and how
they obtain news about the baseball team (8). The
biggest differences were in statements 10, 12, 16 and 22.
Students did not feel an opinion one way or the other
that they used paid advertising to get information about
the company. The employees strongly disagreed they used
advertising to gain information. The students were also
neutral about electronic/broadcast news, where the
employees showed strong disagreement they used it. Only
two media/communications-related statements showed the
students had lower means than the employees. The
students had a lower mean that related to the perception
the Colorado Rockies understand the importance of
communicating its news to the public (5). The employees
strongly agreed with this item, but the students
disagreed with it. The means were significantly
different, but not by much. Secondly, the students were
in somewhat disagreement they base their opinion on
direct contact with employees (22). The employees
strongly agreed with this statement. The significant
level between these two means, 2.92E-14, was extremely
79


high. The greatest significant difference in the student
and employee means related to electronic/broadcast
advertising. The students were neutral with this item
and the employees strongly disagreed with it.
Although there were some large differences in the
means of the two groups in the media/communications-
related table, the largest mean can be found in the
statements that related to the baseball games. These are
found in Table 4.3 that appears below.
TABLE 4.3
BASEBALL GAME-RELATED STATEMENTS
STATEMENT MEAN OF EMPLOYEES MEAN OF STUDENTS SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
2. People attending games have a good experience. 6.41 5.98 .001096
4. The Colorado Rockies understand the importance of putting a competitive team on the field. 6.66 5.83 3.7E-09
24. I have attended two or more Rockies games. 6.90 5.13 8.24E-09
MEAN OF MEANS 6.66 5.65
Ranges: 1.00-1.49 = extremely strong disagreement, 1.50-2.49 =
strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 =
neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and
6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement.
Employee Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements
The employees agreed with all the baseball game-
related items (2, 4 and 24). One item (2) had a strong
80


agreement. The employees felt strongly people attending
games had a good experience. Two items (4 and 24) had
extremely strong agreement. The employees showed a
favorable opinion that the Rockies' have an understanding
of the importance of a competitive team, and that the
employees have attended at least two games.
Student Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements
The students agreed with all three of the baseball
game-related items. Two of the items fell into the
strong agreement range (2 and 4). Therefore, the
students believed the statements regarding people
attending games have a good experience and the Rockies
understand the importance of putting a competitive team
on the field. The students agreed somewhat with item
five, that pertained to attending two or more Rockies
games.
Differences Between Employee and Student Means for
Baseball Game-Related Statements
The size of the differences between employee and
student means is indicated in the right-most column in
Table 4.3. The numbers reported in this column were the
significance levels of independent sample t-tests
81


comparing the two means. The significance levels were
reported in mathematical notation. Hence, 3.7E-09 was
significant at the .00000000037 level, (i.e. extremely
significant). A level of .05 or higher meant there was
not a significant difference between the two means.
Although both the employee and student groups agreed
with all three statements in the baseball game-related
items, all of the differences between means were
significant beyond the .05 level. Employees and students
exhibited very strong differences in how they felt about
the Colorado Rockies understanding of the importance of
putting a competitive team on the field (4). The same
level of difference was exhibited in having attended two
or more games (24). The difference in beliefs between
the two groups regarding the good experience people have
when attending games (2) had a slightly significant
difference.
The last category of statements is related to
community relations and cultural diversity. It can be
found on the following page in Table 4.4.
82


TABLE 4.4
COMMUNITY-RELATED STATEMENTS
STATEMENT MEAN OF EMPLOYEES MEAN OF STUDENTS SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
3. I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing community relations. 6.37 5.24 1.06E-12
6. I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing cultural diversity. 5.30 4.91 .03694
MEAN OF MEANS 5.84 5.07
Ranges: 1.00-1.49 = extremely strong disagreement, 1.50-2.49 =
strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 =
neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and
6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement.
Employee Means for Community-Related Statements
The employees agreed strongly with item three and
somewhat with item six. They believed the Colorado
Rockies have both an interest in practicing community
relations (3) and cultural diversity (6). Through the
means, it can be deduced the employees have a positive
image regarding how their company practices community
relations and cultural diversity.
Student Means for Community-Related Statements
Although the students were in somewhat agreement
with both statements, three and six, the means were not
as strong as the employees. Therefore the findings have
appeared to show although the students felt the Colorado
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Rockies have an interest in practicing community-
relations and cultural diversity, it is a weak opinion.
Differences Between Employee and Student Means for
Community-Related Statements
The difference in how the two groups felt about
community relations is extremely high. The employees
believed the company was much more community oriented
than the students. There was a slightly significant
difference between the two means regarding whether the
Colorado Rockies practice cultural diversity.
Ranking of Significant Levels
To get an idea of the significantly different
statements, Table 4.5 shows the ranking of each statement
by significance level. It ranks each statement from the
highest significant difference to the lowest. The left-
most column gives the numerical ranking of each
statement. The next column gives the statement number,
followed by a column showing each statement's category.
The last column appears on the far right side. It gives
the significance level between the employee and student's
means. Table 4.5 is on the following page.
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TABLE 4.5
RANK OF STATEMENTS BY LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE
(HIGHEST TO LOWEST)
RANK STATEMENT NUMBER CATEGORY SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
1 1 Image 4.51E-15
2 10 Media 3.12E-15
3 12 Media 3.43E-14
4 22 Media 2.92E-14
5 16 Media 4.55E-13
6 3 Community 1.06E-12
7 9 Image 6.46E-10
8 19 Media 3.43E-09
9 20 Media 3.43E-09
10 24 Baseball 8.24E-09
11 4 Baseball 3.70E-09
12 13 Image 1.90E-07
13 18 Image 1.35E-07
14 14 Image 8.55E-05
15 21 Image 2.58E-05
16 5 Media 5.00E-04
17 2 Baseball 1.10E-03
18 8 Media 8.96E-01
19 17 Image .000205
20 23 Image .000626
21 11 Image .013203
22 6 Community .03694
23 15 Image .17659
24 7 Media .688154
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Of the 24 statements, 22 showed significant
difference, at .05 or lower. The size of the differences
between employee and student means is indicated in the
right-most column in Table 4.5. The numbers reported in
this column were the significance levels of independent
sample t-tests comparing the two means. A significance
level of .05 or lower was significant and a finding above
.05 meant there was not a significant difference between
the two means.
Highest Level in Study. The highest significance
level in the study was in the image category. It was in
item one, which was regarding the Rockies caring about
their fans. The significance level was a 4.51E-15 or
.000000000000000451. This is extremely significantly
different. The mean of the employees for this item was
6.43. The student's mean was 5.12. Through the
significance level, it can be deduced that although both
groups agreed the Rockies care about their fans, the
employees felt much stronger in their belief than the
students.
Lowest Level in Study. The statement with the
lowest significance was number seven, which pertained to
how well the media keeps people informed about ticket
86


prices and availability. It was ranked 24 out of 24 and
was from the media category. The significance level was
a 0.688. Both groups were neutral about this statement
and very close in their opinions. Hence, the statement
showed no significant difference.
Highest and Lowest Levels in Image Category. The
highest significant level in the image category was item
one, discussed previously as the highest difference in
the entire study. The lowest significant level in the
image category was statement 23. It was ranked 20th.
The statement asked participants to rank if the marketing
efforts of the Colorado Rockies have a positive image or
not. The significance level was .17659. From this
level, it can be inferred both groups were in somewhat
agreement with the statement and felt the same about the
marketing efforts.
Highest and Lowest Levels in Media/Communication
Category. The highest difference in the media category
was statement 10, which was ranked number two. It was
regarding the use of electronic/broadcast advertising and
the significance level was a 3.12E-15 or a
.000000000000000312. The mean level for the employees
was in the strongly disagree range and the students had a
87


neutral opinion. As stated previously, the lowest
significant level in the media category was the lowest in
the entire study, item seven.
Highest and Lowest Levels in Baseball Category. Of
the three baseball game-related statements, number four
had the most significant difference; a 3.70E-09. This
item was ranked 10th and it related to how the employee
and student groups felt about the Colorado Rockies
understanding the importance of putting a competitive
team on the field. Both groups agreed with the
statement, but the results have shown the students do not
have as much confidence in the Rockies carrying out this
practice as the employees. The lowest significant level
in the baseball category was for item two. It pertained
to the fans having a good experience when attending
games. It ranked 17th out of 24. The employees and
students had similar opinions and both strongly agreed
with the statement.
Highest and Lowest Levels in Community Relations
Category. The highest significance level of the two in
the community category was statement number three,
regarding the interest the Colorado Rockies have in
practicing community relations. Statement three was
88


ranked sixth of 24. Neither group clearly agreed or
disagreed with the statement, although the employees felt
more strongly about the community relations practices of
the Colorado Rockies than the students. Item six that
covered the opinion of the Colorado Rockies cultural
diversity practices received the lowest significant level
and was 22nd out of 24. The employees and students were
both somewhat agreeable that the Rockies practice
cultural diversity.
The information gathered from the study has given
much insight to the opinions the internal and external
groups have about the Colorado Rockies. From the data,
it appears both the employees and students have
perceptions of the company's image and reputation.
Influences from capitalism, corporate culture, ethics,
employees, management and the CEO, other stakeholders,
and the media influence all companies including the
Colorado Rockies. Having reviewed these topics and the
data produced by this study, a discussion is needed to
explain what the information means in relation to the
Colorado Rockies.
89


CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Data of this thesis was compiled through a
questionnaire given to the employees of the Colorado
Rockies and a group of students from the University of
Colorado at Denver. The goal of the thesis was to
determine how internal and external groups assessed
statements that related to the corporate reputation and
corporate image of the Colorado Rockies and whether
these two audiences held the same or different opinions.
Purpose of the Study
There were several reasons for this study. First,
the world of corporate business is changing rapidly. The
electronic media has increased the information received
by the public and has accelerated its arrival. Reactions
to business practices and decisions can be made quicker
than ever before. Corporations that understand the
business world is different from what it was at the
inception of capitalism centuries ago benefit from this
proactive attitude. Companies that are progressive and
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Full Text

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THE DIFFERENCE IN PERCEPTIONS OF CORPORATE IMAGE BETWEEN INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL AUDIENCES:. A CASE STUDY OF THE COLORADO ROCKIES by Jan J. Giovino B.A., University of Nebraska, 1981 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Communication and Theatre 1997

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Jan J. Giovino has been approved by = Mike Monsour Date

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Giovino, Jan J. (M.A., Communication and Theatre) The Difference in Perceptions of Corporate Image Between Internal and External Audiences: A Case Study of the Colorado Rockies Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Benita Dilley ABSTRACT Through a study of the Colorado Rockies, the topics of corporate reputation and corporate image are explored. Employees of the company and a population of University of Colorado at Denver students are surveyed. Although the literatuie review explains many aspects of corporate reputation and image, it becomes clear the terms mean different things to different people. The definitions lie in every individual and with each change in the individual's culture. Corporate image and corporate reputation have been studied many times before. Each study proves their importance to the success of every business. Findings of the study show the two groups believe the image and the way the Colorado Rockies communicates to the public is good. There are some significant differences which show varying opinions. The differences are clues of how changes may be necessary in order for the company to maintain its positive corporate image and reputation. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend publicati n. iii

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DEDICATION This thesis is dedicated to my mother and father who taught me the importance of education.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Thanks to the employees of the Colorado Rockies who have supported me, my adviser Benita Dilley who has guided me, and my husband Gary for standing by me.

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CONTENTS Tables........................................... x CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ......................... 1 Review of Studies .......... ...... 7 Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Purpose of the Study ............. 19 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .............. 28 Changes in Capitalism ............ 28 Changes in Corporate Culture . . 31 Creation of the Corporate Image 33 The Influence of Corporate Culture on Image .................. 39 The Influence of Ethics on Image 43 The CEO's Influence on Image 48 The Employees' Influence on Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Stakeholder's View of the Corporate Image .................. 54 The Influence of the Media on Corporate Image .................. 55 Maintenance of the Corporate Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 The Literature's Influence on the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 vi

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3 HYPOTHESIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Hypothesis Statement ............. 63 Scope of the Study ............... 64 4. RESULTS OF THE STUDY .................. 68 Employee Means for Image-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Student Means for Image-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Image-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Employee Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Student Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Employee Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements ............... 80 Student Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements . . . . . 81 Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements .......... 81 Employee Means for Community Relations Statements ............. 83 Student Means for Community Relations Statements . . . . . . 83 vii

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Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Community Relations Statements ............. 84 Ranking of Significant Levels .... 84 Highest Level in Study ...... 86 Lowest Level in Study ....... 86 Highest and Lowest Levels in Image Category .............. 87 Highest and Lowest Levels in Media/Communication Category . . . . . . . . . . 87 Highest and Lowest Levels in Baseball Category ........... 88 Highest and Lowest Levels in Community Relations Category . . . . . . . . . . 88 5. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS ................. 90 Purpose of the Study . . . . . . . . . 90 What the Literature Showed 91 Determining the Hypothesis and Form of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Employee Perceptions .................. 94 Student Perceptions 98 Differences Between the Employee and Student Perceptions . . . . . . . . . 100 Issues Revealed by the Study .......... 101 Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Recommendations ....................... 104 Conclusion ............................ 106 viii

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APPENDIX 109 ASample Questionnaire .............. 110 B Survey Answers . . . . . . . . . . 113 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 ix

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TABLES TABLE 4.1 Image-Related Statements ......... 71 4.2 Media/Communication-Related Statements . . . . . . . . . . . 75 4.3 Baseball Game-Related Statements 80 4.4 Community-Related Statements ..... 83 4.5 Rank of Statements by Level of Significance (Highest to Lowest) 85 X

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Beginning with Aristotle, scholars and researchers have attempted to explain the term image. Over time, corporate image and corporate reputation have increased and broadened their meanings in the business world. This thesis attempts to measure the reputation and image of the Colorado Rockies based on the opinions of two different groups. History has shown capitalism in the United States has been motivated by profits and losses since its inception. For the last three centuries, capitalism has grown and changed along with the lifestyles of American culture. The arrival of television media in the 1960s caused one of the biggest changes in capitalism. Electronic media brought reality into every American horne through nightly news broadcasts. Suddenly nobody was an island. Television showed human actions of many people were not good. Through the visual broadcasts, people began to see things they didn't like, causing an increase in public 1

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resentment of some traditional American institutions. Significant social changes resulted as people started seeking answers to questions that were considered none of their business in earlier decades. The American public also began to realize previous propaganda they had been told and believed was not necessarily true (James Gray, Jr. 1986). The 1960s trend made companies more accountable by forcing businesses to humanize its operations. The trend was a natural phenomenon. Great value is put on being liked and respected by members of society. Contributing to the good of the community gives a person great satisfaction. Humans create a company's reputation. Businesses that portray the image of one that cares about the people it serves, and not just profits, can be proud of the work it does and cherish a well-earned reputation. In his book Reputation, Charles Fombrun said the 1980s also proved to be a decade for change in capitalism as seen in the increase of service-oriented companies. The common product for these businesses was attention to the customer. Like reputation and image, service is an intangible asset, but one that is an important ingredient to success. Companies with tangible products saw a 2

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combination of good products and services increased profits. Companies learned reputation influenced customer purchases, quality of applicants, number of investors, and opinions of the community where the businesses were located (Fombrun, 1996) Two problems have developed within the institution of capitalism. The first problem has been an increase of the mundane. Businesses have been put under a microscope by the American people. The United States government, being the conscious and caretaker of its democratic public has been forced to develop restrictions and laws to protect people from bad and unsafe business practices. Unfortunately, doing this has inhibited the creativity, growth and success of business institutions in the United States. The second problem stems from how businesses have reacted to the numerous laws and regulations placed on them. For many years, corporate America has been passive in its acceptance of government influence. Each time regulations have been put into effect, many businesses have sat back and done nothing. Therefore, more regulations have been created by the government, small interest groups, and other institutions. As time went on, corporate America has 3

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crawled deeper and deeper into its shell and further away from its culture and community. George Stanley Moore in his book Managing Corporate Relations, expanded the idea that modern businesses live in the dark ages. First, instead of taking a leadership role in influencing the values, ethics and social aspects of its surrounding communities, corporations have sat idly back and let someone else set the course. Large groups such as the media, environmentalists, politicians, and consumers have taken the lead and steered businesses into the future. Corporate America blindly followed. The years of silence put both large and small companies at a great disadvantage and behind other organizations whose messages were loud and clear. These groups have dominated the headlines for so long, people are beginning to believe their side of the story is the right side. Unfortunately, most corporations in this country have not done a good job presenting its side of the story. Second, companies have refused to believe the global business and social environment is different from what it was at the beginning of this century. Most companies believe doing things the way they have been done in the past is good enough. These businesses are like dinosaurs 4

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because they have refused to adapt to the changing world (Moore, 1980) A trend has developed over the last decade that has influenced how businesses operate. According to Clive Chajet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lippincott & Margulies Inc., (1989), business executives have started to think if a favorable corporate identity is created, then nourished correctly, a company can depend on the identity to help ensure its success. A sound corporate image is the backbone of any company. A good image attracts consumers that buy the product, top quality people who want employment with the organization, vendors, and creditors wanting to engage in business. Members of these groups want to be associated with a company that has a positive image (Chajet, 1989) The image of a corporation is the link between the public's perception of the company and the reality of the business. As the 21st century draws near, the public's perception of a company is beginning to have an even greater influence on how businesses operate. Decisions made internally are now questioned publicly. This has produced many new challenges to growing and diversifying corporations. Making the right business decisions 5

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ultimately effects the image of the company and the increase or decrease in profits. Progressive Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) have realized corporate image has a profound effect on consumer's opinion of their company. The current image of major league baseball has been formed through a great deal of public opinion. Although most baseball teams in the United States and world wide are privately owned, it is very much a public institution. The baseball industry was founded in 1846 by Abner Doubleday. It currently has 28 major league teams and numerous minor league teams within its system. Teams like the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees have been in the same ballparks for as many as 75 years. Although the same rules apply to how the game is played on the field, off the field, the business side of baseball has changed dramatically. Some teams have accepted these changes and been proactive in their marketing and sales efforts. Other teams have not caught on. Major league baseball is in the entertainment and service industries. Teams that understand this and have taken measures to operate accordingly are ahead of those who do not. Major league baseball is a public business. 6

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Unfortunately, some owners still run their franchises as if they were an island {Steve Marantz & David Falkner, The Sporting News, 1995). Companies that have realized they are not an island, know the importance of corporate image. Companies that choose to develop policies that result in a good corporate image have a better chance at success if they communicate the policies and practices to the public. Even if a corporation does not choose to communicate, it still has an image. A company cannot have some kind of image. Many studies have shown how a good or bad corporate image effects profits. Review of Studies There has been much discussion on the impact of corporate image and reputation. One of the most significant studies has been the annual survey conducted by Fortune magazine. In 1983, 6,000 corporate executives were asked to rate reputations of the ten largest corporations in the 20 largest United States industries. Although the survey did not precisely define corporate reputation, the ratings were based on the following: quality of management, quality of products or services, 7

PAGE 18

innovation, long-term investment value, financial soundness, ability to attract and keep talented people, community and environmental responsibility, and use of corporate assets. The survey participants thought many of these attributes were the cornerstone of success (Gray, 1986). The Fortune study from 1983 uncovered a newly emerging business philosophy: A company's traits and values, traditionally limited for human behavior, are carried over and included in the actions of corporate America. Nowhere are the realms of corporate image more apparent than the highly covered Exxon Valdez oil spill off the Alaskan shore line in 1989. Exxon violated an important crisis communication rule that is, "Quickly take charge of the news flow and give the public, by way of the news media, a credible, concerned and whollycommitted spokesperson" (Bruce Harrison & Torn Prugh, 1989, p. 40). Exxon's top executive, Lawrence G. Rawl, failed to explain immediately the company's side of the story. The greater the delay in issuing a statement, the harder it is to convince the public the company cares (Harrison & Prugh, 1989) 8

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The impact of the media on the Exxon incident resulted in several studies. Steven Wartick (1992) noted how media exposure can be significantly related to corporate reputation in his study of 29 companies that were targets of single episodes of intense news coverage. He found corporate reputation went in different directions depending on whether a company received negative or positive press. Also, if the companies had reached a high level of public familiarity before a newsworthy incident occurred, the degree of change to their reputation was not affected as much by media coverage as whether the incident was a negative or positive one. He suggested companies with poor reputations received a greater increase in exposure through media relations. Since companies with good reputations did not see that significant of a change after such an event, they were better off adding circumstances that increased the chances of gaining media coverage. That same year, an image-related survey appeared in an August 11, 1992, article in the Rocky Mountain News ("Community Bulletin," 1992). The article concerned Denver's newly awarded baseball franchise, the Colorado 9

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Rockies and its change to local ownership. The question "Did the Colorado Rockies regain your confidence when the team increased local control?" was presented. The nonscientific, call-in poll found that of 929 participants, 507 said "yes," and 422 said "no." The public's perception was that the new, local ownership was better than the previous out-of-state group. Paul Herbig, John Milewicz, and Jim Golden continued the corporate image topic with their 1994 investigation of the relationship between corporate reputation and credibility. Their study used a competitive credibility model of reputation. Using a market simulation, they found that on-going credibility transactions (positive, negative or mixed) produced various effects on a corporation's reputation depending on the type of transaction. As negative and positive transactions added up, the more they influenced the reputation. According to the Herbig study, a company's revenues were a reflection of its reputation. Also, the state of the reputation determined what kind of advertising to run, it increased brand and logo recognition, and kept more customers. A good reputation allowed products to be priced higher too (Herbig et al, 1994). 10

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Corporate reputation and finance have had profound roles in the business finance matrix. Based on a 1992 study, Marion Sobol, Gail Farrelly, and Jessica Taper, said corporate reputation is a reflection of many measurable factors including financial performance. Using the annual Fortune survey and Moody's Handbook of Common Stock as a guide, they explored the meaning and importance of the eight reputation attributes laid out by Fortune. These included quality of products and services, quality of management, financial soundness, the ability to attract and keep talented employees, innovation, long-term investment value, community and environmental responsibility and use of corporate assets. Sobol's research showed a one to seven year lag in financial variables and general reputation. Findings also showed that managerial decisions reflected the total strategy of the company. A significant relationship was found between innovation to price/earnings ratio, earnings per share, and average yield percentage. The most significant variable in the study was the price/earnings ratio. A price/earnings ratio is a representation of how a market regards corporations. Firms with high price/earnings are regarded as firms with 11

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potential for improvement and willingness to modernize. To initiate change, a firm must often accept high expenses. Long time lags mean research and development must reflect a long-term plan. The quality of management and quality of product are closely associated in terms of financial factors. Eight of the 20 industries studied showed the variable most importantly related to corporate reputation was the size of net income (Sobol et al., 1992). A study conducted by Jean McGuire, Alison Sundgren and Thomas Schneeweiss (1988) examined corporate reputation and financial issues with a focus on social responsibility. The costs of socially responsible actions were large, however they may have been offset by other firm costs. The research showed accounting-based performance measures of ROI (return on investment), sales growth, and asset growth were significantly associated with a high level of social responsibility. Firms doing well by accounting and stock market measures were most likely to allocate money to areas of social responsibility. However, this study did not conclude a good reputation or corporate responsibility leads to extra profitability. 12

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Much has been written about what influences corporate reputation. Catherine Schwoerer and Benson Rosen (1989) found job security was an important attribute that attracts and keeps people. Higher wages may offset the chance of a lay off in terms of workers' willingness to consider taking a job with a company. A proven example of this is shown in IBM. The reputation of IBM has lowered as lifetime job security has become weaker and weaker. According to Anne Tsui's study in 1984, quality of management was an extremely important influence on corporate reputation. Quality of product was very important as well, according to William P. Rogerson. Using theoretical economic proof, high-quality firms had more customers because they had fewer dissatisfied patrons. This was because the satisfied customers were good word-of-mouth advertising, and they recruited new people. Secondly, higher fixed-costs were usually associated with better quality and these costs may have formed barriers new corporations could not enter. The high-quality companies may have tended to be larger. This finding correlates with the Sobol empirical results that showed the firms with larger market share in their 13

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industry tended to be the firms with highest reputations (Rogerson, 1983). The studies noted here raise questions about corporate reputation and image. Before these topics can be discussed and evaluated, several terms need to be explained. Definitions The definitions for several terms used in the paper are given here. The terms include: community relations, corporate culture, corporate identity, corporate image, corporate public relations, corporate reputation, corporate stakeholders, culture, cultural diversity or multiculturalism, image, marketing, marketing public relations, media, public relations, and significance level. A variety of sources are used to define the terms throughout this section. Bill Cantor in the 1984 book titled, Experts in Action, defined 11community relations11 as the partnership built between the users of a product and the company that received a profit from them. The partnership is based on trust and the understanding the company will give back to the community it takes from (Bill Cantor, 1984). 14

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"Corporate culture" is the business environment created by and comprised of a company, including its rituals, formal and informal communications. These aspects work to sustain the vision and values of the organization. The definition is from the book by Eric Eisenberg and H.L. Goodall titled Organizational Communication. (Eisenberg & H.L. Goodall, 1993). In Reputation, Charles Fombrun defined "corporate identity" as "the set of values and principles employees and managers associate with a company" (Fombrun, 1996, p. 36) A similar term, "corporate image" was defined by Fombrun as a reflection of all electronic and print advertising and promotions. Rumors circulated by and through employees, analysts, and the media also contribute to the corporate image (Fombrun, 1996) "Corporate public relations" is the entire whole of a company, not just a narrow view of its individual parts. This definition came from Cantor (Cantor, 1984) "Corporate relations" was defined by George Moore. It focused on the relationships between the people inside a corporation and the external people and organizations they work with outside their companies (Moore, 1980). 15

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Fombrun's 1996 definition of "corporate reputation" is used. "Corporation reputation" is the evaluation the stakeholders have of a company. The stakeholders evaluate the company through inspired and/or emotional reactions. The reactions can be good, bad, weak or strong (Fombrun, 1996) "Corporate stakeholders" according to Cantor were "groups who, in one way or another, have a stake in the actions of a corporation" (p. 4). Larry Naylor, author of Cultural Diversity in the United States defined "culture" and "cultural diversity" (also known as "multiculturalism"). "Culture" was described as "the primary means of human adaptation; the basis for the majority of human thought and behavior" (Naylor, 1997, p. 3). Cultures are made up of groups of people who set themselves apart from others by their beliefs, behaviors, values and products they use. Cultures change along with the constantly changing environments in which they are a part. "Culture diversity" also known as "multiculturalism" is difficult to define, according to Naylor, because it has not yet been created in the United States. He said it is a multitude of cultures identified in any human 16

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society. The requirements to have multiculturalism consist of overlapping interests or beliefs by different groups, an interest in human rights (not just common values) organizational structures making it possible for different groups to interact and live together, and finally, becoming empathetic to multi groups instead of just single minorities (Naylor, 1997). "Marketing" as defined in a paper by Philip Kotler is "selecting attractive target markets; designing customer-oriented products and services; and developing effective distribution and communication programs with the aim of producing high consumer purchases and satisfaction, and high company attainment of its objectives" (Kotler, 1989). Kotler's colleague, Thomas Harris defined a newly created term, "marketing public relations" as "the process of planning, executing and evaluating programs that encourage purchase and consumer satisfaction through credible communication of information and impressions that identify companies and their products with the needs, wants, concerns and interests of consumers" (Harris, 1991, p. 12). What this means is that companies should have thoughtful plans that successfully tell 17

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consumers there is a product available they should purchase. Terence Shimp defined "media" in his 1993 edition of Promotion Management & Marketing Communications. "Media" is the tool used to transmit all communications. The tools are usually television, magazines, radio, etc., but can include all types of media promotions (Shimp, 1993). "Public relations" is defined by Scott Cutlip, Allen Center and Glen Broom in the book, Effective Public Relations. The authors said public relations is "a distinctive management function that helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics . and uses research and sound and ethical communications techniques as its principal tools" (Cutlip, Center & Broom, p. 4) The book, Basic Statistics, written by Chris Spatz, contains an explanation of the statistical term called a "significance level." Spatz said a "significance level" is "the point that separates 'reject' from 'retain'. The generally accepted significance level break is .05. If the difference in what is being measured has a probability of .05 or less, the hypothesis is rejected 18

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and the difference is considered significant (not due to chance) The word significant in a statistics context is not synonymous with important. A significant difference in statistics is one that is not attributed to chance" (Spatz p 1 7 0 ) The words "corporation," "company," and "business" will be interchangeable and mean any group conducting business within the United States or global economies. Defining these terms gives the background needed to introduce the study conducted in this thesis and the discussion that follows. As the paper unfolds it becomes clear there are as many definitions of corporate reputation and corporate image as there are companies. Purpose of the Study The more research done on corporate reputation and image, the more complex the topic gets. Every study attempts to describe the intangible aspect of reputation and image. Yet the topic seems to broaden instead of narrow. A common thread among all the studies covered in this thesis revealed the importance of a good reputation and image. 19

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The purpose of this study was to discover the status of the Colorado Rockies corporate image and reputation. The questionnaire polled employees of the company and students from a university in the same city. The reason for the comparative study was twofold. First, an internal audience of employees would be likely to have a biased opinion about their employer and not be able to give an accurate opinion. However, the internal group can reveal the core image the Colorado Rockies seeks to create. Second, an external group should have more of an objective opinion, although it may be a perceived one. Comparing data of people both inside and outside the company attempted to give a better perception of the company's image and reputation. The results uncovered differences and areas where changes in company philosophy and policies may be needed. The Colorado Rockies Baseball Club is a company made up of major league baseball players, minor league baseball players, coaches, trainers, and front-office personal. In the organization, there is one major league team located in Denver, Colorado. Four teams make up the minor league system. They are the Colorado Springs, Colorado Sky Sox, the New Haven, Connecticut -Ravens, 20

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the Salem, Virginia -Avalanche, the Portland, Oregon -Rockies and the Mesa, Arizona -Rockies. The employees from each team are divided into two basic groups: uniformed and non-uniformed personal (i.e. baseball and business) On the baseball side, concentration is placed on hitting, pitching and fielding. Employees who work in the front offices focus on corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, media and community relations, finance, and administration. The number of business employees ranges from approximately 140 full-and part-time people in Denver to Mesa's staff of five full-time workers. Although each team is separately owned and operated, they all are incorporated into the Colorado Rockies organization. For this study only full-time business employees of the Colorado Rockies office in Denver were candidates for the internal group. The questionnaire was presented to both groups within a two-week time frame during May, 1996. Colorado Rockies employees received their questionnaires through the internal mail system of the company's front office. It was accompanied by a brief explanation of the purpose of the study and a deadline of two weeks to finish and return the survey. Although the reason for the study was 21

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clear, the person who conducted the study remained anonymous. Upon completion, the employees returned the questionnaire back through the internal mail system. Results were recorded for all questionnaires submitted within the deadline, however, no others were received after the cut off time. The external group was composed of students from four classes at the University of Colorado Denver campus. The student's questionnaires were distributed at the beginning or end of four different classes. Three of the classes consisted of communications students. The other class was from the graduate business college. Questionnaires given to the students were accompanied by the same explanation the employees received. Although the students did see the person conducting the study, minimal introduction was given by the class instructor. The research in the study used the Likert scale. It presented 24 single statements. Participants were asked to check a corresponding number that was closest to their opinion for each statement. If the number "one" was chosen, it indicated the strongest possible disagreement. The number "seven" was the strongest possible agreement. A response of "four" represented neutrality or no 22

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opinion. A check placed under "two, three, five or six" symbolized a weaker opinion. The statements covered four areas: public image, use of media and communication habits, experiences when attending baseball games, and community relations. Each category served to glean a variety of perceptions from each group. Individual scores suggested how each participant felt. The accumulated scores showed differences between the employees (the internal group) and the students representing the external group. In the public image category, statements such as "the 1995 work stoppage lowered the image of the Colorado Rockies" revealed whether the statement resulted in the respondents perceiving the company as having a positive, negative or neutral image. The company and entire baseball industry received an enormous amount of negative publicity leading up to, during, and after the eight month labor strike between August, 1995 and April, 1996. Responses to this statement showed the perceived effect the strike had on the image of the Colorado Rockies. Media usage statements focused on habits the respondents had of receiving information from print and electronic media or through personal contact. "I base my 23

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opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast news" and other similar statements revealed where the employees and the students got news about the company and baseball team. The results showed how much each source was used. General statements like, "People attending games have a good experience" showed how the two groups felt about the image and reputation of the Colorado Rockies in terms of game day experiences. Although there were not as many statements in this category as there were in the image and media portions of the survey, these statements hold much weight. The greatest exposure the Colorado Rockies receive is about the team. When people come to Coors Field, it gives them a hands-on experience of attending a major league baseball game. The reaction of attending just one game can outweigh many other larger and more significant image-related actions of the company (i.e. giving a $1,000,000 grant to the Denver Public Schools). The experiences of 50,000 fans attending 81 home games add up to an enormous, collective opinion. Because community relations is such an important issue in the corporate mix, a few statements were placed into the questionnaire that related to this area. A 24

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sample statement was, 11I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing community relations.11 Cultural diversity, multiculturalism, and community relations is growing in importance in corporate America, along with the number of minorities within each ethnic group. How various ethnic circles perceive how a company treats and understands them will begin to have more of an impact on a company's success. If the Colorado Rockies had a favorable image in the four areas of image, media, game experience and community relations, the opinions (means) of each group were high. If the employees and students did not agree with a statement, the student's means tended to be lower. Calculating the significance between each statement's means, using a t-test produced a significance level. A significance level of .05 or above indicated an absence or low amount of difference. Significance levels below .05 (for example, .00896), revealed highly significant differences between the means from the two groups. Levels below .05 also demonstrated the chance for error factoring into the answers was very low. This study had a purpose as how it attempted to relate to a few aspects of today's business environment. 25

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A variety of internal and external actions contribute to the public image of a company, therefore many reputation and image topics were explored in this thesis. The history of the stages in American capitalism are reviewed to give background on how companies have operated in the past. With each stage, more human social characteristics were introduced, giving the intangible aspect of image an increased and more important role. Whether a company contributes purposely or accidently to its image, it always has an image. Procedures and ideas of how to create a corporate image are discussed. Different influences on image are covered including the affect of corporate culture on image, the affect of ethics on image, the affect of a company's employees on image, the CEO's affect on image, the stakeholder's affect on image, and the influence of the media on image. The role of these groups depends on how much influence they each have. The amount of influence can shift back and forth depending on timing and individual situations. Each of these groups contributes to the image and reputation and to the perception of the image and reputation as well. 26

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Once a public image is obtained, several factors contribute to maintaining it. As noted previously, actions of all the stakeholders of a company contribute to the company's reputation, whether knowingly or not. The contributions can result in a favorable, unfavorable or mixed public image. Corporations who understand the importance a good image has on success will encourage the use of tangible and intangible actions and symbols to promote a favorable image. If a corporation is perceived as having a bad image, management and employees must evaluate how it was obtained and make necessary changes to build a better image. The review of the literature in chapter two examines these issues. 27

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Corporate reputation and image have evolved and changed throughout the history of America and capitalism. The modern and postmodern capitalistic eras have been a part of the American corporate culture since 1875. Changes in Capitalism A description of changes of management styles in capitalism, as described by Eisenberg and Goodall, explained the onset of corporate image and reputation. Since 1875, four different corporate operational theories have been used. These included the classical approach, human relations approach, systems approach and the postmodernism approach. Each of these eras saw an increase in human involvement in business methods. As businesses have socialized over the years, they have taken on a human personality. Like a person, the personality of a corporation is made of character, image and reputation. This is a reflection of the people inside and outside the company. 28

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The classical approach was popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It emphasized top-down narratives of truth, power and control. Those people on the top had the power to control and interpret stories in their favor. During this time American railroad companies initiated public relations communication. The goal of public relations was to justify the cheap labor used to bulldoze a path for the railroad that made its way through the country (George Cheney & Steven Vibbert, 1987). During the 1930s the old ways of the classical approach and bureaucracy began to be questioned. Harvard professor Elton Mayo's human relations theory stressed the limits of individual rationality and the importance of interpersonal relations. He felt society was comprised of groups not individuals (Mayo, 1945) During World War II, the United States government perfected the use of public relations through propaganda about the country's war efforts. Sociologist Walter Buckley (1967) made the systems approach popular after World War II with his idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With the information revolution, a task was expanded to include 29

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how it functioned as part of entire system. The phrase, "plan your work and work your plan" was coined by management during this period in capitalism. Public relations became more influential as explained by Edward Bernays, a pioneer in the corporate communications field. He said a public relations professional "interprets the client to the public, which he is enabled to do in part because he interprets the public to the client" (Bernays, 1923, p. 4). Postmodernism has involved into a fluid, team-like approach to business. The five principles of postmodern organizations were defined as: decentralization of power; constant, rapid and contradictory changes in markets and commodity values; flattening of hierarchies; cultures of trust built on respect for differences; and use of groups (Eisenberg & Goodall, Jr. 1993). As communication technology grew with the changing corporate cultures, public relations became more proactive and sophisticated. The use of prepared marketing tools increased with the introduction of press releases, press conferences, corporate brochures and corporate reports (Cheney & Vibbert, 1987) 30

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Each stage in capitalism influenced all parts of the culture and visa versa. Each time the population was influenced, their perceptions of American culture changed. Changes in Corporate Culture Although research on successful management styles has discouraged the classical approach, many corporations continued to believe in its success. The classical approach has as many limitations today as it did in its early stages. Many corporate managers view themselves as an isolated part of the society in which they belong. Accomplishing the business objective of increased profits is the only obligation they feel is necessary. A statement from Leonard Silk and David Vogel in Ethics and Profits: The Crisis of Confidence in American Business, defended capitalism and the corporation: Business is being criticized . for doing the same things that made it a hero just a few years ago. Business hasn't changed; society has changed. The period from the end of World War II to the late nineteen-sixties was a time when what people wanted and what business provided were perfectly synchronized. What has happened since is that the views of the country have shifted (Silk & Vogel, 1976). 31

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Gray continued the discussion of business ethics in his book, Managing the Corporate Image. He said the current state of cultural confusion is a result of weakened traditional institutions. Without business, the driving force of the American economy, having the wherewithal to take a stand, some groups leading the way are not as ethical as the groups with the traditional, straightforward values. New rules have been written that lack boundaries. They are followed as if they were ethical. Several things have happened in the last few decades that have changed and weakened the relationship between the people of America and its capitalistic structure. The public lost the trust of many traditional institutions, including American business. Now more than ever, everyone from the company CEO down to the average consumer must accept the social responsibility of all b actions by corporate America to maintain capitalism as an ethical institution. If good, strong ethics in the United States become weaker and fewer, it will be reflected in how American corporations operate. An unethical population will perceive unethical corporations to be right. The world 32

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is full of ethical and unethical practices, making it hard for companies to identify what is right. Doing things right may be harder, but as previous authors have shown, rewards to the image are great (Gray, 1986) Another change in capitalism has been the importance placed on minority communities. Corporations have begun targeting ethnic groups for sales and awareness. Moore (1980) stated that often if race and prejudicial issues come to the forefront, it is reflected on all aspects of the company. Although a discriminatory issue may be minor, it can grow and reflect an entire lack of social responsibility by the company, whether that is true or not. Corporations are beginning to put more emphasis on understanding the needs, feelings and attitudes of ethnic groups. Changes in capitalism and corporate culture have affected the image and reputation of corporate America. Many companies are beginning to put more emphasis on the need to develop a sound, positive and public image. Creation of the Corporate Image Reputation is developed and changed over time. Consistent behavior helps reinforce the reputation 33

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whether it is favorable or not. Creating the corporate image and reputation takes constant attention to all facets of the corporation so they work together to improve. A positive corporate reputation can lead to several things: the ability to hire outstanding people for top-level positions, raise needed capital, and the ability to operate in local and global markets. A company's sales also rely on corporate identity and reputation (Sobol et al, 1992). According to Chajet (1989), "a corporate identity. is to corporate image what exercise is to physical fitness and a good image reflects a fit corporation" (p. 18). Within a corporation's business strategy, the corporate image is the most visible. Out of all the major components of a company --product, price, place, promotion and personnel the corporate identity is the part that carries the most weight. Besides communication, many current corporate reputation topics have also begun to look at the human and social aspects that influence the image of companies. Communication tools such as advertising, press releases, newsletters, e-mails and web sites are vital in getting a company's message out to the mass population of 34

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the country and the world. These tools, that are part of the post-industrial, high-tech society, have deemphasized personal contact between people. Machines communicate and work now where a voice or actual person was there before. The downside to the efficiency of technology is that personal communication decreases. Alan Siegel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Siegel & Gale Public Relations, stated in a 1993 article that consumers want to know the story of the company. They want to know what the company stands for and how it differs from the competition. They want to know how the business and its products affect them. The answers to these probing questions lay in management style, quality of products and environmental concerns. They all contribute to the strong impact the company's reputation has on consumers. Another strong correlation, according to Kevin Clancy of Yankelovich Clancy Shulman research company, is between corporate reputation and supportive customer behavior that relates to consumer buying habits. A Yankelovich survey found a person is more likely to buy a company's product if they perceive it as a "winner" (Clancy, 1992) 35

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Wartick's (1992) development of reputation and media exposure led him to search for factors that have had the most influence on a corporation. Many things determine an image because there are as many reputations as their are stakeholders in a corporation. Research has also shown public relations practitioners believe corporate reputation is many things including, "the way a corporation is perceived by its various audiences,11 11my gut reaction about a company" and "the first five words that come to my mind about a company11 (Sobol et al, 1992, p. 50-51). The research disclosed corporate reputation depends on the experiences of many audiences. Corporate reputation is not a single opinion, but the synthesis of a variety of considered opinions about operations, image, quality, customer service, community involvement, employee relations, management style, financial strength, and use of corporate assets. A survey of CEOs exhibited the three key things that a company can do to enhance its corporate reputation are "service, service, service" "credibility, integrity, and reliability," and "perform as promised" (Sobol et al, 1992, p. 68). Both public relations professionals and 36

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CEOs share many of the same beliefs about corporate reputation. They believe a good reputation can produce success in labor, finance, products and community and that a good reputation increases profits. Bad reputation detracts from success, reduces business, and causes customers to seek alternatives. Bad reputation contributes to creating poor morale and reduces the number and strength of investors. If a company can increase customer satisfaction, corporate reputation improves, particularly if the company spreads the news of this satisfaction to a wide audience. Reputation strengthens if a company provides outstanding products and services, and it is also a financial success. Financial soundness helps cause a good reputation, but a good reputation also can help cause financial soundness (Sobol et al, 1992). As John Higgins stated in a 1992 article titled, "Corporate Identity and the Service Professions," in order for a company to create a winning perception, it must be realistic. Consumers sense the difference between an image based on substance and character and one made of fancy graphics and high-tech bells and whistles. The best way to communicate what a corporation stands for 37

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is through old-fashioned, one-on-one business relationships. Through the strength of relationships, management and employees learn to recognize and understand the needsof their customers and the environments in which they work (Higgins, 1992). Part of the relationship philosophy includes image programs involving partnership, long-term status and results. Laurence Ackerman, a partner in the firm of Anspach Grossman Portugal, Inc., used these terms to describe the daily business climate that goes on in a capitalist economy. He said a partnership means, "we're in it together." Long-term status is described as, "you'd better make sure you respect me in the morning." Results are measured by, "what have you done for me lately." These ideas boil down to the fact that business is people and people are relationships. Businesses must take the lead to establish and maintain healthy relationships with their customers so the two cultures can understand each other (Ackerman, 1993). All corporate communication involves many personal and non-personal factors. Company-wide communications can be more important than external communication because employees are on-going advertisers. A pro-active 38

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communication plan that is accessible to all and easily understood can cut through the noise created by other companies who choose shallow messages, instead of the proven way to success through truth and integrity (Siegel, 1993). Through all forms of communication, consumers develop more than just a winning or losing perception of a corporation. Over time, corporations acquire personalities that are part real and part myth. Although the product and service of the company are the most prevalent images representing it, signs and symbols portraying the product are surface signals of which the company's foundation is built (Siegel, 1993). The defining, creating and building of a corporate image is an on-going, day-to-day process. Many external stakeholders develop their opinions based on the internal networks of the company. These networks are made up of what is called corporate culture. The Influence of Corporate Culture on Image A company's values and objectives must be communicated to the employees so they know what is expected of them. Values and objectives are part of what 39

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is called 11corporate culture11 (Chajet, 1992) Corporate culture is like public culture. It consists of countless written and unwritten rules that peers teach each other. The internal culture is naturally communicated externally. Employee's actions and ways of communicating have a rippling effect on everyone they meet. A Gallup poll revealed each employee influenced an average of 50 people in the community (Aranoff, 1983). This influence reflected both positive and negative images of companies. To understand corporate culture, the ways in which people communicate both inside and outside their work environment must be discussed. Eisenberg and Goodall gave four major definitions of communication that apply to the corporate environment. The first defined communication as an 11information transfer,11 meaning that one source transmitted a message through a channel. The source used the message as a tool to accomplish objectives. Communication as a "transactional process11 meant the person who received the message interpreted its meaning. Communication as a 11strategic control11 emphasized many different meanings can be derived from a single message. The two authors defined communication in relation to corporations as a 40

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balancing of creativity and constraint. They said "communication is the moment-to-moment working out of the tension between individual creativity and organizational constraint" (p. 21-30). Eisenberg and Goodall believed creativity is welcomed because it promotes change and constraint is needed because it maintains order. All employees of a corporation blend creativity and constraint together to form the organization's cultural environment. Without relationships between people, corporate culture would not exist. Without communication there would not be any relationships. Every relationship involves the aspects of the self, others and contexts. Contexts consist of how people interpret and make sense of the communication exchanges that contribute to their culture. In the work place, the context of communication in relationships and situations helps form the corporate culture. Corporate culture was popularized by a man named William Ouchi in 1981. His 11Theory Z" said that in order for a corporation to survive, it must be able to adapt to change. It emphasized the point that employees who developed a sense of community within their company were 41

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more likely to be motivated to achieve their goals and in turn their company's. The following year, 1982, a book hit the corporate world by storm. In Search of Excellence, written by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman researched the corporate culture of 62 successful companies. They determined all the companies had eight common features that made them successful in terms of culture: 1. A bias for action. (Decisions are made quickly, following a change in the business environment.) 2. Close relations to the customer. (Continuous attention to relationships helps companies remember who their customers are.) 3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship. (Empowering employees enhances risk-taking, individual responsibility and creativity.) 4. Productivity through people. (Good people equals good products and services.) 5. Hands-on, value-driven. (Strong values practiced by management encourage employees to do the same.) 6. Stick to knitting. (Do not diversify to the point of losing site of the main product.) 7. Simple form, lean staff. (Avoid bureaucracy.) 42

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8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties. (Successful companies constantly switch back and forth between uncontrolled and controlled actions depending on the reaction to changes.) The Influence of Ethics on Image Deciding whether to do the right thing is not a new idea in the business world. In order for a corporation to have a sound and credible image, business practices must be based on ethos, a philosophy of Aristotle, the Ancient greek scholar. Aristotle defined the terms "ethos," "pathos" and "logos" in his textbook titled, Rhetoric. R.C. Jebb interpreted Aristotle's definitions in his book, The Rhetoric of Aristotle: A Translation. Ethos, pathos, and logos are forms of proof and persuasion. In a capitalistic economy the seller must persuade the buyer to make a purchase. Jebb interpreted ethos as a form of proof used when presenting an argument or opinion that helped persuade the audience to agree with the presenter. Much of ethos depends on the credibility and believability of the speaker. Ethos underlies the other two forms of persuasion known as logos and pathos. Logos is referred to as logic and 43

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rationality. Pathos represents the emotions of both the presenter and the listener (Jebb, 1909) Ethos is a mind-set. It relates to thoughts about psychological and sociological actions. The world is viewed differently because of ethos. People can see the same situation differently because they have different ethos. The importance of ethos according to Aristotle is "the speech is so spoken as to make the speaker credible; for we trust good men more and sooner, as a rule, about everything; while, about things which do not admit of precision, but only guess-work, we trust them absolutely" (Jebb, 1909, p. 6). This means if a person does not know anything about a subject, they will believe most of what is said by someone who is perceived as knowledgeable about the topic. de Ortego y Gasca (1994) defined ethos as the sum of an individual's behavior. He stated, Ethos is the way of life characteristic of a particular society in its deep-seated habits of thinking and acting. Ethos contribute to the collective identity of people, to their sense of continuity, to their consciousness of belonging to a particular group that exists in time and has existed historically and speciously across the generations (p. 6) In this sense a corporation can be thought of as a small society. 44

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Today the term ethics is a reflection of the ancient meaning of ethos. Ethics is the basis by which we judge all things. Every decision, task, communication and process carried out by every person in a company is based on individual ethical and cultural backgrounds. A highly ethical company is created over time by its product, advertising, employees, management, customers and many other elements. Ethics constitutes values placed on a person by the person themselves and by the society in which they live. Ethics involve rules for what is right and wrong, as well as actions and decisions made by people reflecting how they follow and carry out the rules (de Ortego y Gasca, 1994) Michel Foucault, a student of philosophy, psychology and psychiatry, defined and placed ethics into four categories: ethical substance, mode of subjection, asceticism and telos. These terms can be applied to individuals and institutions such as the American corporation. According to Foucault, ethical substance is, "the part of the self that is taken into account or subjected to ethics--the prime material of moral conduct" (p. 352). In relation to business, ethics is the 45

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subconscious of all the individuals of every company in America. The mode of subjection is, 11the way in which people are invited or incited to recognize their moral obligations11 (p. 353). This would relate to the loyalty a business would feel is owed to the cultural aspects in which it is a part. Asceticism or self-discipline is defined by Foucault as, 11the techniques to be used or the ethical work to be performed to bring the self into compliance with the moral code11 (p. 355). This is related to every task, conversation and decision by everyone involved with the company. Telos is, 11the image of the right sort of person or life. What is considered to be the state of perfection or completion according to the moral code11 (p. 362). The company mission statement, objectives and goals to be reached would involve a picture of telos (Foucault, 1984). Through time a company can become ethical. Professor Frank Wylie, prescribed ten steps to follow in order for a company to have good ethics: 1. Realize people will react to management's ethics and this will effect the bottom line, 2. unethical behavior alienates employees, 3. anything used to promote ethics must be 46

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definitive, decisive and in the public interest, 4. management must have the guts to break away from the norm, 5. the company should build allies and public support before a crisis, 6. plans must be made in long-range terms, contain imagination, and use time and money wisely, 7. the company must establish and have an on-going relationship with legislators, public administrators and key media contacts, 8. people must realize the costs of communicating and implementing ethical practices out-weigh the costs of non-ethical behavior, 9. all departments, not just public relations, must understand and practice ethics established by the company, and 10. to remain ethical, everyone in the company must be on top of what the company is doing and how the outside world affects them personally and as a company employee (Wylie, 1991) Aristotle, Jebb, de Ortego y Gasca, Foucault, and Wylie made points about how much ethics affects the reputation and image of a company. Every person affects 47

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corporate reputation and image in different ways. Reputation and image affects people in different ways too. The CEO, employees, corporate stakeholders, and media all contribute to the corporate image. The CEO's Influence on Image The CEO leads the entire company and decides the course of all business strategies. Whoever the CEO, their views and plans for social accountability must permeate throughout the company. Without an idea of the corporation's commitment to society, employees do more harm with lack of information or by possessing the wrong information. Sherwin Rosen quoted the CEO of Coca-Cola, Roberto Goizueta, in an article in the American Economic Review. Goizueta said, "A CEO is ultimately responsible for the growth of a company as evidenced by its financial performance, its capacity for self-renewal, and character. The only way you can measure character is by reputation." The Fortune study cited earlier also showed that companies with the highest ratings were those that had CEOs employed by the same corporation for at least 20 years. Corporations with low ratings had a much higher 48

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turn-over rate with their CEOs. The study concluded poor performance reflected poor management (Claire Makin, 1983) CEOs who only see debits and credits have tarnished American's corporate image over the last 20 years. The results of an annual Louis Harris poll showed 55% of the American public had confidence in corporate executives in the mid-1960s. By 1984 the percentage had fallen to 18% (Ann Crittenden, 1984) Frequent mergers and acquisitions have convinced the average consumer that CEOs have only their individual interests in mind, not the community's. The difference in Lee Iacoca was evident in the early 1980s. When he was fired from Ford Motor Company, he took over the bankrupt Chrysler corporation. After Iacoca asked the United States government for billions of dollars worth of loans, he began making pleas to.the American public. Using straightforward advertising messages, he claimed Chrysler had changed and the company was ready to give the modern auto consumer what they wanted. His plan worked. People trusted him enough to try a Chrysler car or truck. The quality of the product proved his affirmation was right. 49

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If a company cannot satisfy the needs of consumers, buyers will go to companies that can. The entire Detroit auto industry is a good example. Consumers wanted reliable and economic cars. That was something only foreign car makers provided during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Until American auto makers started providing what consumers wanted, their sales plummeted (Gray, 1986). During this time, the mood in Detroit was very dark, but the circumstances forced the manufacturers to reevaluate their companies and move forward. The CEO should be the one constant reference point. If the CEO shies away from the public, the public usually forms its own negative opinion of the company and perceives it as lacking human and social responsibilities (Siegel, 1993) Leadership from Iacoca and other Detroit automobile manufacturers showed that a CEO who anticipates the future and has the courage to speak their opinion can change a loser image and company into a winner. Corporate managers also must communicate this confident message to their staff. Employees follow the leadership set in place by management and have an enormous influence on the corporate image. 50

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The Employees' Influence on Image The internal ethics of a company contributed by the CEO greatly effects its public image. The ethics, values and norms of employees of the company work to create the corporation's reputation and image as well. A corporation must personalize itself and make consumers believe its business practices are good and right. Inside every corporation are individual people. Each of them must make a personal commitment to contribute to the positive image of the company. There are two major internal groups of image makers in every corporation. The first is public relations personnel. The people in this department are responsible for constantly and consistently building and maintaining the corporate reputation. The second most influential role in the corporation is that of the CEO. This individual greatly influences every aspect of the company. The CEO can single-handedly define, enhance and nurture the corporate image (Sobol et al., 1992). Using a combination of ethical practices, the CEO and all departments within a company create its own image using all three of Aristotle's forms of persuasion. According to Siegel, how the company decides to use 51

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persuasion to communicate directly and indirectly becomes the reality of the company. Management should continuously communicate the message to employees and the public. Honest messages to both groups will move the company forward through integrated marketing efforts (i.e. common messages). The employees naturally communicate the message sent to them by the management, whether the message is good or bad. The link between employees and the outside world forms a web and unites all the external groups that are somehow related to the company. The individuals in each group become stakeholders of the company. Management must put their company's image in a clear and concise message and tell it to all stakeholders (i.e. employees, consumers, vendors and neighbors). It is vital the original message is clear. The more intelligible the original message, the more likely it will be correctly communicated by the employees and other stakeholders. In turn, these same groups must understand and accept the message. They must be committed to carrying out the messages otherwise, the messages are never heard (Siegel, 1993). 52

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All aspects of building the corporation's public image including public relations, advertising, and employee training cost money. In tough economic times, these are usually the first departments to experience cuts. Many companies fail to realize the importance of the work performed in these departments because their influence is not easily measurable,. Numerous managers ask, "what good do these departments do?" According to leading experts in the business world they are the most influential departments in the corporation. They can make or break the success of a company. Today's corporations must use these areas to communicate to customers and potential customers if they expect to remain competitive and stay in business. The most readily available resource to create and nurture a corporation's reputation is its employees. John Dobson (1991) said, "reputation acts as a contractual enforcement mechanism and therefore induces trustworthiness as a natural consequence of wealth maximization" (p. 18) This means that given the chance, employees in the organization are reliable and trustworthy. Their behavior contributes to the long-term success of the company. 53

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Employees are the ambassadors of every company. They are in contact with many circles of people outside the organization. These groups of stakeholders in carry out the image and reputation messages of a company. Stakeholder's View of the Corporate Image A corporation usually has private owners, but it influences and is influenced by many public groups. The variety of stakeholders produces many opinions. The four most important stakeholders of a company are its customers, employees, investors and nearby communities. The number of stakeholders has expanded in recent years. For example, Gulf Oil had 17 different sets of stakeholders in 1960. By 1980 the list had grown to 34 (Cantor, 1984). Although all stakeholders, whether passively or aggressively, have an interest in corporations, the degree of the influence depends on the power of the group. Each stakeholder's role supports the company in its own way. Corporations must listen and respond to each of these group's needs and concerns. Response must be effective so all the stakeholders so each group feels their interests are being met (Cantor, 1984). 54

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Corporate culture, ethics, the CEO, employees and stakeholders can all influence the corporate image. The power of all these groups combined may not be able to measure up to the power of one group ---the media. The Influence of the Media on Corporate Image No one picks up messages from a company's stakeholders, whether correct or incorrect, faster than the media. Reporters have always taken a broad view of business and reported how its actions and influences affect various parts of the culture. Journalists are constantly thinking, "Is the CEO telling all of the story? Part of the story? All of the truth? Part of the truth?" The reporters mold the answers to these questions into facts they report in their stories. The job of the media is to seek out and find the answers and use them to paint a responsible and objective picture (Baron, 1991) A story can contain information gathered on a breaking story, the company's employees, its impact on the community, quality of products, service, price and profits, etc.. The details and facts are transferred into a news story and reported through electronic and/or print methods. 55

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Good media relations departments provide news for the media to report. Using the media is a very quick and economic way corporations can get a message out. The relationship between the media and corporations is as unique as the relationship between an individual reporter and the corporate spokesperson. A good relationship usually results in a cooperative and understanding journalist. A good or bad relationship can greatly influence the amount of press a company receives and how objective the report (Moore, 1980). As in the past, there often exists a strain between corporations and the media. Modern, mega-media companies thrive on being aggressive, plentiful, and profitable. A company spokesperson can no longer get away with 11no comment.11 Keeping secrets from the media and the public was once standard practice. Today, the media and public feel corporations owe them an explanation for any business action whether the company considers it private or not. The practice of withholding information is a motivator for media inquiry. Investigative reporting usually digs up something because a scoop is what sells the news (Gray, 1984). 56

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Companies with successful images know the importance of the media and openly work with them. Media-savvy corporations realize top priority should be given to keeping the lines of communication open between the company and its media contacts. Shrewd companies create and manage media opportunities, inventing various angles of their "news" and offering a conducive environment to tell their story (Richard Mau, 1991) The media can greatly influence and educate the public about a corporation's positive image and reputation. Once all the stakeholders are in place, communicating the company's values and culture, and influencing the perception of the image becomes a daily maintenance task. Many stakeholders work to preserve the image the corporation has worked so hard to create. Maintenance of the Corporate Image Corporations must continually try to understand the constantly changing business world and adapt to maintain a successful business and corporate image. Those companies that can convince the greatest number of people what they are doing is right, will gain the most trust and maintain success. As Fombrun (1996) said, "The more 57

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trustworthy a company appears to its key constituents, the better regarded the company will be" (p. 69). Trust and ethics must permeate throughout all business communications. A well thought-out and followed mission statement, along with sound and realistic goals that reflect the philosophy of the company, are the backbone of successful corporations. Every decision made must mirror the direction stated in the mission statement. A multi-directional and chaotic plan can quickly weaken an image that has taken so long to build. The challenge is to stay focused amid growing influence from competition and culture changes. Yet, even the established companies can get sidetracked by the introduction of new products and technology. An example of how easily this can happen is presented by Charles Hucker, Division Vice President Public Affairs and Communication at Hallmark Cards, Inc. He stated: J.C. Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards, had values including quality, creativity, ethical behavior, respect for the individual and commitment to the community that are still prevalent today. However, with the marketplace becoming more fragmented and competitive, Hallmark must remind themselves of these ethics established more than fifty years ago to remember who they are (Hucker, 1991). Susan Small-Weil, Chief Planning Officer of Warwick Baker & Fiore Inc., also supported the Hallmark 58

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philosophy. She said diversity should be used to cater to the consumer's needs, but never used to replace the company's image. While new information and technology were important, it would never be as important as the image of the company (Small-Weil, 1991). Fombrun believes maintaining a good reputation is the hardest thing to do. Once a company has established itself as a success to the four most important stakeholders (customers, employees, investors and communities), the company is pressured by these groups to improve continually. Maintaining the reputation requires constant attention to create and sustain relationships with customers, employees, investors and communities. Another reason reputation is hard to maintain is that it cannot be measured in financial terms. According to Donald Kieso and Jerry Weygrandt in their book, Intermediate Accounting, "Measuring the components of goodwill . is simply too complex and associating any costs with future benefits is too difficult" (p. 598). Although hard to measure, nobody would deny the fact there have been many intangible events that have influenced the American business culture and has brought the economy to where it is today. 59

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The Literature's Influence on the Study As the literature in this thesis has shown, influences to the corporate reputation and image come from many directions. Ethics, the CEO, employees, external stakeholders, and the media all have the power to influence corporate image. As the role of the culture changes, these influential groups must see that corporate culture changes are implemented. If corporations choose to remain oblivious to its surrounding communities, the capitalistic institution will become weaker and more fragmented. The American public will turn to those institutions who show a concern for them. The more today's business culture is explored, the better prepared businesses will be for the future. As research continues, new questions will be asked and the always-changing answers will reflect new technology and trends. These new ideas can advance capitalism to the next century and the next business level if corporate America chooses to move forward. This thesis has explored the perceived image an internal and external group has on a company, the Colorado Rockies. Comparing the opinions of the two groups is a comparison of naturally biased and unbiased 60

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opinions. The Colorado Rockies have had an impact on the community and the baseball industry. The results of the study have shown the effect of this impact. 61

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CHAPTER 3 HYPOTHESIS The many studies and articles on corporate reputation and corporate image have revealed three major issues. First, every area of a company contributes to the corporate reputation. Employees, products, marketing and advertising, invoices and payment schedules, dress codes, press conferences and press releases are some examples of the people and processes that create the total corporate image. In the case of the Colorado Rockies, the baseball team contributes to the image along with the business office personnel. Second, corporate reputation is different things to different people. Although all stakeholders can agree upon the attributes that make up the whole corporate image, each group will weigh certain attributes differently. The most important factor to.one group is not the most important to others. Third, many attributes can be used to measure corporate reputation. Fortune magazine's annual survey 62

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measures reputation and image with eight different categories. Individually, they could not give an accurate account of a company's image, but together they tell a strong and convincing story. The studies cited up to this point examine a corporation's reputation based on an outsider's perspective of the company. To get more of an accurate reading of a corporation's reputation, the study presented in this thesis involved insiders and outsiders. The questionnaire was given to both the employees of the Colorado Rockies and a group of outsiders. The results revealed interesting insights into corporate reputation. By examining the answers of two different groups to the same questions, perceptions can be compared and analyzed. Hypothesis Statement The hypothesis of this study is: despite the continuous and consistent messages put out by the management and media relations department of the Colorado Rockies, the internal and external groups surveyed will have different opinions regarding the company-related statements. The survey tested the perceptions of the 63

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various messages put forth by the Colorado Rockies. Any statements that provoked significantly dissimilar responses from the insiders and outsiders uncovered \ discrepancies in opinions and possible inconsistencies in how the messages were translated and/or received. Similar responses, represented by a significance level of .05 or above, show a common opinion between the internal and external groups. Scope of the Study To assess the image of the Colorado Rockies among employees and the public, this study explored responses of 24 image-related items in a three-page questionnaire. Comparing internal versus external opinions gave a broader impression of the company's image compared to surveying just one group. The results gave interesting information about what the outsiders felt was the company's reputation. The results showed if employees of the company felt the same as, or different from the sample of outsiders. The employees, more than anyone, should know and understand the company's objectives, goals and philosophies. Each department has its own set agendas. Together they make up the whole unit that is 64

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the working and functioning business of the Colorado Rockies the public sees and perceives. From the actions and communications the company projects, the public collectively pieces this information together to form an opinion of the image and reputation of the Colorado Rockies. There are many internal stakeholders in every company. The Colorado Rockies have several major departments: Ownership, legal, community relations, finance, baseball, stadium operations, media relations, corporate sales and marketing, ticketing, merchandising and administration. Within each department are specialized areas. The external public consists of several groups also. They include, but are not limited to: season ticket holders, individual game ticket holders, neighboring residents of LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver), neighboring businesses, vendors, suppliers, corporate sponsors, media, friends and family of employees, residents of Denver, the metro area, Colorado and the mountain region, tourists who visit Coors Field and/or attend a game, other professional sports teams in the Mile High City and government agencies. 65

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As discussed previously, image is something everyone knows about, but is hard to measure. The image of the Colorado Rockies, like any other company, is created by the perceptions of employees, customers and other stakeholders. The development and measurement of their actions establish a company as good or bad, fair or unfair, winner or loser, environmentally concerned or environmentally unconscious, politically correct or incorrect, successful or unsuccessful. The questionnaire employed in this study attempted to measure the image and reputation of the Colorado Rockies. The questionnaire was administered to 138 Colorado Rockies full-time business employees. A total of 83 questionnaires were returned or 60%. Surveys were also given to a sample of students in four different business and communication classes at the University of Colorado at Denver. Of the 132 surveys distributed, 119 or 90% were returned. The questionnaires were administered over a two-week period during May, 1996. The survey contained 24 statements. Respondents were asked to rate their opinions of each statement on a seven-point Likert scale. "Seven" was extremely strong agreement, "four" reflected a neutral opinion and "one" 66

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was extremely strong disagreement. Checking 11two,11 11three,11 11five11 or 11six11 indicated somewhat of an agreement or disagreement with the corresponding statement. There were four categories of statements. They covered the topics of image of the Colorado Rockies, media usage and communication, experiences at baseball games and community relations practices of the Colorado Rockies. The statements in the various categories were mixed and reversed to avoid a patterned response. Ten statements covered the general image of the Colorado Rockies. There were nine media statements, three baseball game statements and two statements regarding community relations. The variety of topics enabled the questionnaire to explore many reputation aspects of the company. 67

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS OF THE STUDY This thesis used a questionnaire to gain information about the reputation and image perceptions of Denver's major league baseball team and front office. The study surveyed full-time, non-uniformed employees of the Colorado Rockies. The employees represented an internal group. A sample of students from the University of Colorado at Denver, which represented an external group, were also surveyed. Answers to the two groups' statements in a 24-item, Likert-scale questionnaire gave insight to the opinions each had about the reputation and image of the company. Each group's opinion was naturally different. Employees cannot be objective about the company, but they can give a true picture of the core philosophy and attitude of which the company is made. Outside groups will receive some of the messages each company attempts to communicate, but will not have as biased of an opinion as the company's own employees. For ease of explanation, the statements are presented here in tables representing their respective 68

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categories: statements regarding image, statements regarding media and communication usage, statements regarding baseball games, and statements regarding community relations. Each category's table shows the number and exact wording of each statement, the mean of the employees for each statement, the mean of the students for each statement, and the significance level calculated using both groups' mean for each statement. The last line of each table indicates the mean of the means. An explanation of the results of every category follows each table. All items on the questionnaire were Likert-type statements that employed a seven-point scale. Participants were asked to rate their opinion of each statement presented. Because of the odd number of points on the scale, the responses are categorized in ranges to make the answers more clear. For example, a mean of exactly 4.0 would indicate neutrality. Unless a range is established, a mean of 3.9 or 4.1 would not suggest neutrality and that would not be accurate. The ranges and their corresponding opinions used in the study appear on the following page. 69

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1.00 to 1.49 = extremely strong disagreement, 1. 50 to 2.49 = strongly disagree, 2.50 to 3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50 to 4.49 neutrality or no opinion, 4.50 to 5.49 somewhat agree, 5.50 to 6.49 = strongly agree, and 6.50 to 7.00 extremely strong agreement Again, each table shows the mean for the two groups, the significance level of a between the two means, the average of the means and the significance level of the averaged means. By comparing the amount of differences in the means, contrasting opinions become apparent. The image-related statements appear in Table 4.1. These statements cover topics in relation to the general image of the club, the image of some departments in the company, and opinions of the effects of the latest baseball strike. 70

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TABLE 4.1 IMAGE-RELATED STATEMENTS MEAN OF MEAN OF SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT EMPLOYEES STUDENTS LEVEL 1. I believe the Colorado Rockies care about their fans. 6.43 5.12 4.51E-15 9. The 1995 work stoppage did not lower my image of the 4.63 2.92 6.46E-10 Colorado Rockies1 11. The 1995 work stoppage lowered my image of baseball. .4 .15 4.83 .013203 13. The Colorado Rockies practice good ethics. 5.65 4.66 1. 9E-07 14. The Colorado Rockies in general have a positive image. 6.40 5.83 8.55E.05 15. The marketing efforts of the Colorado Rockies have a 5.84 5.62 .17659 positive image. 17. The Colorado Rockies ticketing efforts have a 5.33 4.61 .000205 positive image. 18. The Colorado Rockies community relations efforts 6.02 5.15 1. 35E-07 have a positive image. 21. The Colorado Rockies baseball efforts have a 6.12 5.46 2.58E-05 positive image. 23. I believe other people feel the Colorado Rockies have 6.28 5.82 .000626 a good reputation. MEAN OF MEANS 5.68 5.00 Ranges: 1.00-1.49 =extremely strong 1.50-2.49 -strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 = neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and 6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement. 1 Statement 9 was reversed to a negative statement which made its mean consistent with the others. 71 I

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Employee Means for Image-Related Statements Means for the employee group appear in the left-most column of Table 4.1. The means of the study showed the employee group strongly agreed with items 1, 13, 14, 15, 18, 21 and 23. Therefore, through the means it can be inferred the employees believe the Rockies care about their fans (1) and the organization practices good ethics (13) The employees think the company (14) and marketing department (15) have a good image. The study revealed the employees think the Rockies community relations (18) and baseball (21) efforts also have a positive image. The employees also felt other people believe the organization has a good reputation (23). In addition, the means implied the employees had somewhat of an agreement to statements nine and 17. The employees agreed somewhat that the 1995 work stoppage did not lower their image of the Rockies (9) They also believed the Rockies ticketing efforts have somewhat of a positive image (17). Lastly, the employees indicated neutrality about item 11. They do not have an opinion on whether the work stoppage lowered their image of baseball. 72

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Student Means for Image-Related Statements Means for the student group of respondents appear in the middle column of Table 4.1. None of the means were 6.5 or above, although three of the items, 14, 15, and 23 fell into the strongly agree range. Therefore, the students felt strongly the Rockies have a positive image (14), and the marketing e.fforts do also (15) The students also believed other people feel the company has a good reputation (23). Six items (1, 11, 13, 17, 18, and 21) were associated with means between 4.50 and 5.49. The students were somewhat agreeable with all these statements. The group agreed the Rockies care about their fans (1) and that the work stoppage lowered their image of baseball (11) They were also somewhat agreeable that the Rockies practice good ethics (13), and that the efforts of the ticketing (17), community relations (18) and baseball departments (21) have a positive image. The students disagreed somewhat the work stoppage lowered their image of the Colorado Rockies (9) Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Image-Related Statements The size of the differences between employee and student means is shown in the right-most column in Table 73

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4.1. The numbers reported in this column are the significant levels of independent mathematical notation. Therefore, 4.51E-15 actually means the difference between the two means is significant at the .000000000000000451 level, (i.e. extremely significant). Anything above a .05 shows no significance or that the chance for error may have influenced the significance level. All of the differences between means are significant beyond the .05 level except ohe, item 15. Employees and students exhibited no significant difference in their attitudes toward the positive image of the team's marketing efforts. Item 11 was the only item that the student mean was higher than that for employees. Students agreed somewhat, but statistically significantly more than employees, that the Colorado Rockies care about their fans. Students agreed less than employees with all other items in Table 4.1. The answers have shown in general, the internal, employee group had more of a positive image of the company than the students. Findings associated with media/communication-related items are found in Table 4.2. These items explored what types of media or other information-gathering methods each group used to get information about the company. 74

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TABLE 4.2 MEDIA/COMMUNICATION-RELATED STATEMENTS MEAN OF MEAN OF SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT EMPLOYEES STUDENTS LEVEL 5. The Colorado Rockies understand the importance of communicating its news to the 6.02 5.44 .0005 public. 7. The media keeps me familiar with the Colorado Rockies ticket prices and 4.34 4.43 .688154 availability. 8. Through the media I am familiar with the Colorado 5.55 5.58 .896402 Rockies baseball news. 10. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast 1. 88 3.66 3.12E-15 advertising. 12. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on 2.18 4.02 3.43E-14 electronic/broadcast news. 16. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print 2.22 3.83 4.55E-13 advertising. 19. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print 2.68 4.07 3.43E-09 news. 20. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on word-of-2.72 4.30 3.43E-09 mouth. 22. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on direct contact with people in the 5.45 3.12 2.92E-14 organization. MEAN OF MEANS 3.67 4.27 Ran es: 1.00-1.49 = extreme! stron g y g g reement, 1.50-2.49 = strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 = neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and 6.50-7.00 =extremely strong agreement. 75

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Employee Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements Means for the employee group appear in the left-most column of Table 4.2. The findings have implied employees strongly believed the Rockies understand the importance of communicating its news to the public (5) and that their group used the media to familiarize themselves with baseball news (8) The employees were somewhat agreeable to item 22, that they based their opinion of the company by direct contact with other people in the organization. Statements 19 and 20 show somewhat of a disagreement by the employees. They did not necessarily base their opinion on print news (19) or word-of-mouth (20) The employees showed a neutral belief of statement 7, indicating their group does not agree or disagree that the media keeps them familiar with the Colorado Rockies ticket prices and availability. There was strong disagreement in three of the items (10, 12 and 16). The means, ranging between 1.50 to 2.49, indicate the employees did not base their opinion of the Rockies on electronic/broadcast advertising (10) electronic/broadcast news (12) or print advertising (16) Through the results, it can be inferred the employees do not use the media to gain information about the company. 76

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Student Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements Means for the student group of respondents appear in the middle column of Table 4.2. One item, number 8, scored above a 5.49. The mean showed the students were in strong agreement that they used the media to keep familiar with baseball news (8) The students felt some agreement in item 5; the Rockies understand the importance of communicating its new to the public. Therefore, these means indicate the students agree with the importance of the use of media by the company and them. For most all other statements, the students expressed neutrality. The student means were neutral on six of the ten items (7, 10, 12, 16, 19 and 20). The students felt ambivalent that the media keeps them familiar with ticket prices and availability (7) Regarding types of media used, the students were neutral to statements that they base their opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast advertising (10) and electronic/broadcast news (12) They also had a neutral opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print advertising (16), print news (19) and word-of-mouth (20) For statement 22, the student mean fell into the somewhat 77

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disagree range. The mean suggested they did not base their opinion on direct contact with people in the organization. The results of the study indicated the students strongly agreed they used the media for news. However, when asked about individual the media sources (electronic/broadcast advertising and news, and print advertising and news), they showed a neutral opinion. Differences in Employee and Student Means for Media/Communication-Related Statements The size of the differences between employee and student means is indicated in the right-most column in Table 4.2. The numbers reported in the column are significance levels of independent sample t-tests comparing the two means. The significance levels are reported in mathematical notation. Hence, 3.12E-15 actually means the difference between the two means is significant at the .000000000000000312 level (i.e. extremely significant). A level above .05 shows no significant difference. Any level lower than .05 shows differences that are significant. All differences between the means are significant except statements two, seven and eight. Employees and 78

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students exhibited no significant difference in perceptions toward their use of the media in keeping them familiar with ticket prices and availability (7) and how they obtain news about the baseball team (8) The biggest differences were in statements 10, 12, 16 and 22. Students did not feel an opinion one way or the other that they used paid advertising to get information about the company. The employees strongly disagreed they used advertising to gain information. The students were also neutral about electronic/broadcast news, where the employees showed strong disagreement they used it. Only two media/communications-related statements showed the students had lower means than the employees. The students had a lower mean that related to the perception the Colorado Rockies understand the importance of communicating its news to the public (5) The employees strongly agreed with this item, but the students disagreed with it. The means were significantly different, but not by much. Secondly, the students were in somewhat disagreement they base their opinion on direct contact with employees (22) The employees strongly agreed with this statement. The significant level between these two means, 2.92E-14, was extremely 79

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high. The greatest significant difference in the student and employee means related to electronic/broadcast advertising. The students were neutral with this item and the employees strongly disagreed with it. Although there were some large differences in the means of the two groups in the media/communications-related table, the largest mean can be found in the statements that related to the baseball games. These are found in Table 4.3 that appears below. TABLE 4.3 BASEBALL GAME-RELATED STATEMENTS MEAN OF MEAN OF SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT EMPLOYEES STUDENTS LEVEL 2. People attending games have a good experience. 6.41 5.98 .001096 4. The Colorado Rockies understand the importance of putting a competitive team on the field. 6.66 5.83 3.7E-09 24. I have attended two or more Rockies games. 6.90 5.13 8.24E-09 MEAN OF MEANS 6.66 5.65 Ranges: 1.00-1.49 -extremely strong d1sagreement, 1.50-2.49 -strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 = neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and 6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement. Employee Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements The employees agreed with all the baseball game-related items (2, 4 and 24) One item (2) had a strong 80

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agreement. The employees felt strongly people attending games had a good experience. Two items (4 and 24) had extremely strong agreement. The employees showed a favorable opinion that the Rockies' have an understanding of the importance of a competitive team, and that the employees have attended at least two games. Student Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements The students agreed with all three of the baseball game-related items. Two of the items fell into the strong agreement range (2 and 4) Therefore, the students believed the statements regarding people attending games have a good experience and the Rockies understand the importance of putting a competitive team on the field. The students agreed somewhat with item five, that pertained to attending two or more Rockies games. Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Baseball Game-Related Statements The size of the differences between employee and student means is indicated in the right-most column in Table 4.3. The numbers reported in this column were the significance levels of independent sample t-tests 81

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comparing the two means. The significance levels were reported in mathematical notation. Hence, 3.7E-09 was significant at the .00000000037 level, (i.e. extremely significant). A level of .05 or higher meant there was not a significant difference between the two means. Although both the employee and student groups agreed with all three statements in the baseball game-related items, all of the differences between means were significant beyond the .05 level. Employees and students exhibited very strong differences in how they felt about the Colorado Rockies understanding of the importance of putting a competitive team on the field (4). The same level of difference was exhibited in having attended two or more games (24). The difference in beliefs between the two groups regarding the good experience people have when attending games (2) had a slightly significant difference. The last category of statements is related to community relations and cultural diversity. It can be found on the following page in Table 4.4. 82

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TABLE 4.4 COMMUNITY-RELATED STATEMENTS MEAN OF MEAN OF STATEMENT EMPLOYEES STUDENTS 3. I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing community 6.37 5.24 relations. 6. I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing cultural diversity. 5.30 4.91 MEAN OF MEANS 5.84 5.07 SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL 1. 06E-12 .03694 Ranges: 1.00-1.49 = extremely strong dlsagreement, 1.50-2.49 = strongly disagree, 2.50-3.49 = somewhat disagree, 3.50-4.49 = neutrality, 4.50-5.49 = somewhat agree, 5.50-6.49 = strongly agree, and 6.50-7.00 = extremely strong agreement. Employee Means for Community-Related Statements The employees agreed strongly with item three and somewhat with item six. They believed the Colorado Rockies have both an interest in practicing community relations (3) and cultural diversity (6) Through the means, it can be deduced the employees have a positive image regarding how their company practices community relations and cultural diversity. Student Means for Community-Related Statements Although the students were in somewhat agreement with both statements, three and six, the means were not as strong as the employees. Therefore the findings have appeared to show although the students felt the Colorado 83

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Rockies have an interest in practicing community relations and cultural diversity, it is a weak opinion. Differences Between Employee and Student Means for Community-Related Statements The difference in how the two groups felt about community relations is extremely high. The employees believed the company was much more community oriented than the students. There was a slightly significant difference between the two means regarding whether the Colorado Rockies practice cultural diversity. Ranking of Significant Levels To get an idea of the significantly different statements, Table 4.5 shows the ranking of each statement by significance level. It ranks each statement from the highest significant difference to the lowest. The left-most column gives the numerical ranking of each statement. The next column gives the statement number, followed by a column showing each statement's category. The last column appears on the far right side. It gives the significance level between the employee and student's means. Table 4.5 is on the following page. 84

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RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 TABLE 4.5 RANK OF STATEMENTS BY LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE (HIGHEST TO LOWEST) STATEMENT NUMBER CATEGORY SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL 1 Image 4.51E-15 10 Media 3.12E-15 12 Media 3.43E-14 22 Media 2.92E-14 16 Media 4.55E-13 3 Community 1. 06E-12 9 Image 6.46E-10 19 Media 3.43E-09 20 Media 3.43E-09 24 Baseball 8.24E-09 4 Baseball 3.70E-09 13 Image 1.90E-07 18 Image 1. 35E-07 14 Image 8.55E-05 21 Image 2.58E-05 5 Media 5.00E-04 2 Baseball 1.10E-03 8 Media 8.96E-01 17 Image .000205 23 Image .000626 11 Image .013203 6 Community .03694 15 Image .17659 7 Media .688154 85

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Of the 24 statements, 22 showed significant difference, at .05 or lower. The size of the differences between employee and student means is indicated in the right-most column in Table 4.5. The numbers reported in this column were the significance levels of independent sample t-tests comparing the two means. A significance level of .05 or lower was significant and a finding above .OS meant there was not a significant difference between the two means. Highest Level in Study. The highest significance level in the study was in the image category. It was in item one, which was regarding the Rockies caring about their fans. The significance level was a 4.51E-15 or .000000000000000451. This is extremely significantly different. The mean of the employees for this item was 6.43. The student's mean was 5.12. Through the significance level, it can be deduced that although both groups agreed the Rockies care about their fans, the employees felt much stronger in their belief than the students. Lowest Level in Study. The statement with the lowest significance was number seven, which pertained to how well the media keeps people informed about ticket 86

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prices and availability. It was ranked 24 out of 24 and was from the media category. The significance level was a 0.688. Both groups were neutral about this statement and very close in their opinions. Hence, the statement showed no significant difference. Highest and Lowest Levels in Image Category. The highest significant level in the image category was item one, discussed previously as the highest difference in the entire study. The lowest significant level in the image category was statement 23. It was ranked 20th. The statement asked participants to rank if the marketing efforts of the Colorado Rockies have a positive image or not. The significance level was .17659. From this level, it can be inferred both groups were in somewhat agreement with the statement and felt the same about the marketing efforts. Highest and Lowest Levels in Media/Communication Category. The highest difference in the media category was statement 10, which was ranked number two. It was regarding the use of electronic/broadcast advertising and the significance level was a 3.12E-15 or a .000000000000000312. The mean level for the employees was in the strongly disagree range and the students had a 87

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neutral opinion. As stated previously, the lowest significant level in the media category was the lowest in the entire study, item seven. Highest and Lowest Levels in Baseball Category. Of the three baseball game-related statements, number four had the most significant difference; a 3.70E-09. This item was ranked lOth and it related to how the employee and student groups felt about the Colorado Rockies understanding the importance of putting a competitive team on the field. Both groups agreed with the statement, but the results have shown the students do not have as much confidence in the Rockies carrying out this practice as the employees. The lowest significant level in the baseball category was for item two. It pertained to the fans having a good experience when attending games. It ranked 17th out of 24. The employees and students had similar opinions and both strongly agreed with the statement. Highest and Lowest Levels in Community Relations Category. The highest significance level of the two in the community category was statement number three, regarding the interest the Colorado Rockies have in practicing community relations. Statement three was 88

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ranked sixth of 24. Neither group clearly agreed or disagreed with the statement, although the employees felt more strongly about the community relations practices of the Colorado Rockies than the students. Item six that covered the opinion of the Colorado Rockies cultural diversity practices received the lowest significant level and was 22nd out of 24. The employees and students were both somewhat agreeable that the Rockies practice cultural diversity. The information gathered from the study has given much insight to the opinions the internal and external groups have about the Colorado Rockies. From the data, it appears both the employees and students have perceptions of the company's image and reputation. Influences from capitalism, corporate culture, ethics, employees, management and the CEO, other stakeholders, and the media influence all companies including the Colorado Rockies. Having reviewed these topics and the data produced by this study, a discussion is needed to explain what the information means in relation to the Colorado Rockies. 89

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION OF RESULTS Data of this thesis was compiled through a questionnaire given to the employees of the Colorado Rockies and a group of students from the University of Colorado at Denver. The goal of the thesis was to determine how internal and external groups assessed statements that related to the corporate reputation and corporate image of the Colorado Rockies and whether these two audiences held the same or different opinions. Purpose of the Study There were several reasons for this study. First, the world of corporate business is changing rapidly. The electronic media has increased the information received by the public and has accelerated its arrival. Reactions to business practices and decisions can be made quicker than ever before. Corporations that understand the business world is different from what it was at the inception of capitalism centuries ago benefit from this proactive attitude. Companies that are progressive and 90

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plan ahead realize the need to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment. It is becoming obvious the opinions of the public can influence the profits and losses of all companies in business today. A second reason for the study was the heightened awareness by the public. Corporations are coming to the realization society is changing the ways corporations do business. Previous studies revealed three major factors about corporate reputation: 1) every area of a company contributes to its reputation, 2) the corporate reputation and image are different things to different people, and 3) corporate reputation and image are not easy to define. The best way to explain these factors is to measure the opinions of many people and get their ideas on what creates and contributes to a corporation's reputation and image. What the Literature Showed A review of the literature in chapter two explained the influence many different groups and entities have had on reputation and image. Each change in a population's culture brings change to corporate culture as well. All departments of a company combine to construct the 91

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corporate image. Companies produce advertising, marketing, and promotion campaigns to build a mass image that tries to personalize the corporation. The image that permeates outside the company always starts inside. Management and staff of a company are individuals that link their ethics and cultural practices to create and influence the corporate image. Ethics greatly influence the corporate image. Companies that are perceived as ethical are perceived as winners. The ethics of the CEO can have the most influence on the greatest number of people. The CEO is usually the official spokesperson for the company, although there are many people communicating the company's messages. The CEO is pursued by the public and press when an event happens that results in receiving good or bad publicity. The CEO can significantly alter the image created by the employees through a single interview or statement. Many other people influence reputation and image. Stakeholders of a company, no matter how great or small their influence, all contribute to the reputation and image. The cultural norms practiced by all stakeholders, internal and external, filter into and influence the company in one way or another. All company stakeholders are having to adapt to 92

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the influence of the media. The power of the media is too great to ignore. Maintaining the corporate image can be extremely difficult when pressures mount from the media, various stakeholders, and by pressure from the rapidly changing business environment. Objectives and goals of a company should adapt to changes, but never be altered so they harm the positive reputation and image developed over many years. Determining the Hypothesis and Form of Study From the information gained through the history of traditional methods of capitalism, previous research, current issues, and topics of corporate culture, reputation and image, the hypothesis of the study was determined. The hypothesis stated that no matter how many consistent and continuous messages the Colorado Rockies extended, the internal and external groups would have different opinions on the same statements about the company. The scope of the study was based on a rating scale that used a seven-point Likert model. The responses were divided into seven different ranges of answers including: extremely strong agreement, strongly agree, somewhat 93

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agree, neutral or no opinion, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree and extremely strong disagreement. Statements relating to topics regarding the image of the company, media and communication usage, baseball game experiences and community relations were presented. Each participant responded to the statements by checking one of the seven levels that best matched their opinion to the statement. Employee Perceptions The highest mean for the employees in the study was a 6.90. It was in the baseball category. The statement was about attending two or more games. This statement almost scored a perfect seven and showed few employees in the organization have attended less than two games. The lowest employee mean was a 1.8. It pertained to the use of electronic/broadcast advertising to find information on the team. At the time of the survey there was no television and minimal radio advertising for the Colorado Rockies. The employees could have been aware of this and therefore, not paid attention to electronic/broadcast advertising. 94

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The employees showed an extremely strong agreement with two items. They concerned the belief the Colorado Rockies understand the importance of creating a competitive team, and the employee's game attendance. Most of the employee responses (11 of 24) came from the strongly agree range. The majority of these responses were in the image category. The employees felt strongly the company practices good ethics, has a positive image, and the Rockies care about their fans. They also believed the marketing, community relations and baseball efforts have a positive image. The employees felt other people have a favorable impression of the Colorado Rockies too. The employees sensed a strong agreement with two media statements, those being that 1) the media keeps them familiar with baseball news, and 2) that the Colorado Rockies know the importance of communicating its news to the public. The employees strongly agreed with one item from each baseball and community relations categories. They believed people attending games have a good experience and that the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing community relations. 95

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Three of the 24 statements were somewhat agreed upon by the employees. The employees agreed to a lesser extent the strike did not lower their image of the Colorado Rockies, that they base their opinion of the Rockies on some direct contact with people in the organization, and that the company is interested in practicing cultural diversity. The employees were neutral to both one image and media item. They were indifferent in their opinion that the baseball strike lowered their image of baseball. Since the employees work for a team they believe has a positive image, their image of baseball is probably tainted. It may be a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. Employees were neutral the media keeps them informed about ticket prices and availability. A possible reason for neutrality to the ticketing statement, is that the employees receive complimentary tickets to every game. Therefore, they are probably not as aware of ticketing issues as the public. Two items in the media category fell into the somewhat disagreeable range for the employees. They do not necessarily agree they base their opinion on print news and word-of-mouth. 96

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The employees were in strong disagreement with four items from the questionnaire. One was image-related and three were regarding the media. The employees strongly disagreed the 1995 work stoppage lowered their image of the Colorado Rockies. Despite the strike, the employees did not feel the image of the company was affected. The three media statements pertained to advertising and news. The employees strongly disagreed they used these methods to gain information about the company. Again, advertising during this time was minimal, however, the Rockies would definitely have been in the news during May, 1996. Although employees got baseball information from the news, the employees did not base their opinions of the company from media sources. There were no means in the extremely strong disagreement range for the employees. The results of the employee's opinions to the statements raise many questions. Do the employees believe the organization does everything it can in terms of image, media, community relations and for the games? Do they know more about the company than the student sample? Are they too biased to know the real answers? 97

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Student Perceptions The students did not have statements in as many ranges as the employees did, nor did they have as high and low means. The highest student mean was a 5.98. It represented their belief people attending games have a good experience. The lowest mean was a 3.18. The students did not believe they base their opinion of the Colorado Rockies on people from within the organization. Although the students did not have any means in the extremely strong agreement range, most of their answers were agreeable to the statements. They strongly agreed with six items. Three were statements from the image category, one from media, and two were regarding baseball. The students believed the Colorado Rockies and the marketing department have a good image. They also presume other people believe the Rockies have a positive image. The students agreed they got information on baseball news from the media. Regarding baseball statements, they believed the Rockies understand the importance of putting a competitive team on the field and that people have a good experiences attending baseball games. 98

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The most responses of the students came in the somewhat agree range. They were agreeable with six image items, one media and baseball statement, and two items from the community relations category. In general, the students agreed the ticketing, community relations and baseball departments have a good image. They believed the Colorado Rockies practice good ethics and care about their fans. The students are also somewhat agreeable that the work stoppage lowered their image of the baseball. From the media category, they agreed the Rockies understand the importance of communicating its news to the public and that the company has an interest in practicing community relations and cultural diversity. The students were somewhat agreeable that they have attended two or more games. The students were neutral to more statements than the employees. All six of the neutral opinions were media-related statements. They were neutral to using most of the media advertising and news sources to influence their opinion of the Colorado Rockies and getting information about the company or team. The students were also neutral they received information from word-of-mouth sources. 99

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The student's opinions were somewhat disagreeable with two of the 24 statements. They did not agree they receive information about the Colorado Rockies from people in the organization, and that the 1995 work stoppage did not lower their image of the Colorado Rockies. There were no student means in the strongly disagree or extremely strong disagreement ranges. Responses from the student group also raise questions about the opinion of the Colorado Rockies reputation and image. Do the students not get the same information as the employees? Do they receive the same messages, but interpret them differently? Are they more objective than the employees and give a truer evaluation of the Colorado Rockies? Differences Between Employee and Student Perceptions Employees of the Colorado Rockies registered higher means than the students. The 5.46 average mean out of the possible 7.0 shows the employees agree somewhat with all the statements and are very close to the strongly agree range (5.50 to 6.49). The average mean for the students was a 5.00. This mean falls exactly into the middle of the somewhat agree range. 100

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The biggest difference in the study was the 4.51E15 significance level calculated by the means from the statement that related to how the Colorado Rockies care about their fans. The employee's mean of 6.43 and the student mean of 5.12 produced the largest difference in opinion between the two groups. Although both groups agreed the Colorado Rockies care about their fans, the employees strongly believed this statement. Issues Revealed by the Study There are six major issues defined by the study. First, the employees of the company had more specific opinions. Of the seven ranges, their mean scores were in six of them. The students do not have as well defined opinions. Their scores were in four of the seven levels. Second, although there were significant differences in the responses, most of the opinions are positive. For the employees, 18 of the 24 statements were neutral or in agreement. The students only disagreed with two statements. They were neutral or agreeable to all of the other 22 items. Third, 257 responding participants believed other people feel the Colorado Rockies have a good reputation. 101

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Not only did people participating in the survey feel the Rockies have a good reputation, but they thought other people did as well. Every company would want high scores reflecting positive image statements like these in the survey because they show the population feels good about their business. Fourth, the study revealed insight as to the impression the baseball strike left on both groups. The employees agreed somewhat the strike did not lower their image of the Colorado Rockies and are neutral to the statement the strike lowered their image of baseball. The students are not as positive about the effects of the strike, but their means are not tremendously low. The students are somewhat disagreeable the strike did not lower their image of the Colorado Rockies and are only somewhat agreeable that the strike lowered their image of baseball. In many other major league cities, the image of the local team and baseball is extremely unfavorable. Fifth, means of the statement regarding whether people attending games have a good experience, are very positive. The scores showed employees and, more importantly, the students feel many people enjoy the Colorado Rockies. Through the scores it can be inferred, 102

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if the games were not fun, enjoyable, and entertaining, there would not be 50,000 people attending each one. Finally, the study revealed a peculiar insight regarding the use of media by both groups. The mean scores for the statement, "Through the media I am familiar with the Colorado Rockies baseball news" revealed the employees and students were in strong agreement with the statement. However, these means contradict the means of four others in the media category. There were five statements that related to how much both groups use individual media sources to get information about the Rockies (i.e. print advertising, electronic/broadcast news) The employees disagreed with, and the students were neutral to, the fact they use these five different forms of media for Colorado Rockies information. How can the groups respond that they use the media to get information, yet deny using individual media sources? Limitations Although the study gained much information about the reputation and image of the Colorado Rockies, the information is minimal. Using the Likert model method 103

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gives responses to canned opinions. The respondents do not have the opportunity to expand or explain why they answer on a particular level. If the questionnaire was longer, more information and more details on opinions could be received. However, there is a trade off between keeping the survey short enough so people will not lose interest and possibly give incorrect answers, and having enough statements to get a good idea of the opinions. A second limitation is the make up of the participants from the external group. Although graduate and undergraduate students offer somewhat of a representation of the public, being from such a defined group probably biased the answers somewhat. Recommendations The study showed the Colorado Rockies have a good and positive reputation as stated by employees of the company and a sample of students from the University of Colorado at Denver. A major league baseball team is a high profile business. Most participants in this study probably have not heard as much about other businesses that were founded seven years ago when the Colorado Rockies also got their start. It is apparent the 104

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employees and the students have a favorable impression about the Rockies. This positive attitude makes them good ambassadors for the company. The hardest thing to do after creating a reputation is to maintain a positive one and change a negative one. The Colorado Rockies must not settle back, like other companies have done, as changes in the business and public culture take place. The company must keep abreast of changes in attitudes of all its stakeholders so as not to lose sight of what kind of company it is and the reputation it has collectively created. Other companies will constantly try to steal away the entertainment dollars and audiences the Colorado Rockies receive. A stagnant management team will allow this to happen. A perceptive and aggressive business team will not. The neutral opinions of the students showed there were many participants, for some reason, who are neutral to the company. This may be an untapped market of potential customers or one that does not care about baseball. More research could specifically define the attitudes of this market. 105

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Conclusion The survey tested the perceptions of the various messages put forth by the Colorado Rockies. Although the scores of the statements showed the Colorado Rockies are looked upon positively by the internal and external groups surveyed, most of the scores were significantly different. The analysis of the questionnaire and the data it produced indicated there were 22 statements out of the 24 with significance levels below .05. This meant 22 statements showed a significant difference. The hypothesis of the study stated, "despite the continuous and consistent messages expressed by the management and media relations department of the Colorado Rockies, the internal and external groups surveyed will have different opinions regarding the company-related statements." The significant levels allow the hypothesis to be retained, even though in many areas the two groups held similar opinions. Many questions need to be answered to determine the reason for the different opinions of the two groups. First, why do the employees feel stronger about the Colorado Rockies than the students? Do the students lack information about the company? Does the company not 106

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communicate enough or not as effectively as it should? Is it natural for an internal group to feel more positive about their company than an external group? Does the true image of the Colorado Rockies lie in the answers given by the employees, the students or somewhere between? The results of the study have uncovered interesting aspects of the Colorado Rockies, specifically relating to the reputation and image of the company. If the study was given to more people in external groups, would the results be the same? If this study was given in the future, would the results be the same? If the same study was given to employees of a different company and the same students, would the results be the same? Comparative studies of internal and external audiences can help future research on the corporate reputation and image topics. As many researchers in this thesis have shown, the opinions of the American people regarding capitalism change with each business day. By focusing on the employees of a company and a sample population familiar with it, much can be learned about the two group's opinions in terms of trust, ethical standards, image and success. 107

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This type of study can and should be applied to all companies interested in finding out how to be and/or remain successful. How well a company is doing in the competitive business environment is vital information. Vision is needed to understand the realities and perceptions that contribute to the corporate image and to the achievement of the company. The most important component of reputation is that it consists of perceptions. Although a corporation can and does influence public opinion, people form their own personal beliefs. A corporation has only indirect control of people's thoughts, feelings and attitudes. Corporations must ensure the messages they furnish are clear so the receivers can understand them. Successful, ethical and caring message transfers can only help improve business communication, image, reputation, and, as a result, success. 108

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APPENDIX A SAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE A sample questionnaire is found on the following three pages. 109

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PLEASE ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS Place a check above the number that best describes your opinion. 1. I believe the Colorado Rockies care about their fans. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2. People attending games have a good experience. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 3. I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing community relations. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 4. The Colorado Rockies understand the importance of putting a competitive team on the field. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 5. The Colorado Rockies understand the importance of communicating its news to the public. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 6. I believe the Colorado Rockies have an interest in practicing cultural diversity. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 7. The media keeps me familiar with the Colorado Rockies ticket prices and availability. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 B. Through the media I am familiar with the Colorado Rockies baseball news. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 110

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9. The 1995 work stoppage lowered my image of the Colorado Rockies. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast advertising. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 11. The 1995 work stoppage lowered my image of baseball. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 12. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on electronic/broadcast news. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 13. The Colorado Rockies practice good ethics. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 14. The Colorado Rockies in general have a positive image. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 15. The marketing efforts of the Colorado Rockies have a positive image. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 16. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print advertising. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 17. The Colorado Rockies ticketing efforts have a positive image. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 111

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18. The Colorado Rockies community relations efforts have a positive image. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 19. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on print news. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 20. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on wordof-mouth. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 21. The Colorado Rockies baseball efforts have a positive image. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 22. I base my opinion of the Colorado Rockies on direct contact with people in the organization. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 23. I believe other people feel the Colorado Rockies have a good reputation. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 24. I have attended two or more Rockies games. Agree: ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ : ___ :Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 112

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APPENDIX B SURVEY ANSWERS Survey answers are recorded on the following three pages. 113

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