Examining the importance of positive reputation in SMEs

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This paper examines the discursively constructed meanings for reputation in the small trade context - an area of reputation research that has so far attracted little attention. The researchers in this article argues that viewing reputation as a social construction makes it possible to uncover plus understand the variety of meanings attached to the concept in small trades. On the basis of 25 thematic interviews by means of owner-managers the researchers made an attempt to reconstruct the four meanings for reputation: reputation as an economic resource, as social recognition, as a restrictive control mechanism as well as a risk for personal status. The article in addition investigates the variety of discursive events in which these meanings are created. The study further emphasizes reputation as a phenomenon in which a small trade turns out to be identified by means of its owner-manager, adding to the complex as well as conflicting nature of reputation, comprising both positive as well as negative aspects.

Methodology of Article:

The methodological choices made in the study. First the researchers focus on presenting their approach to discussion analysis plus then go on to describe the data production in addition to analysis. Discursive advance The approach known as discourse analysis examines how social reality is created by historically along with contextually situated discourses. Discourses are specific ways of creating social reality by producing concepts, objects along with subject positions which shape people's understanding of the world plus reactions to it. Along by means of the in depth study of dissimilar researches mentioned above the researcher has in addition used the empirical data of this study consist of open-ended interviews by means of 25 Finnish small trade owner-managers: three women as well as 22 men in this article.

Significant findings:

In this article the researchers have focused on the dissimilar meanings that reputation can have in the Finnish small trade context. The article sought to understand how the meanings of reputation were (re)constructed by small trade owner-managers using dissimilar discourses and how these discourses further constructed the relations flanked by small trades in addition to society. In the analysis researchers identified four types of discourses, namely those of marketing, stakeholder oriented, control along with social exclusion, producing various representations of reputation in the trade relations of small firms. These discourses differ as of each other in their portrayal of reputation as an economic resource, as social recognition as of the local community, as a control mechanism or as a risk to the owner-manager's personal status, thereby forming a reputational framework in the small trade context as of the owner-managerial viewpoint.


The researchers in the article makes it very much clear for the readers that reputation in Finesse SMEs is one of the most prized assets of any organization, however managing the risks to it are far as of an exact science. The reputation plus brand of one's organization is a significant asset as well as in several cases accounts for over 80% of an organization's equity. However, reputation can be extremely hard to comprehend along with measure convincingly and is frequently one of the least well-managed assets in an organization. Therefore the only reputation one can have is a product of one's culture. In short, one's reputation is one's culture. By pulling together the various functions at a corporate level around how one manage the people, how one think regarding leadership in addition to management together by means of all of the external facing obligations - regulators, the media plus investors gives a much better understanding of where one's reputation sits. Researchers agreed that culture, along by means of the right 'tone at the top' is key determinants of reputation. "It really boils down to the culture and of board as well as management along with looking at what's driving them.

If one look at CSR and talk regarding non-financial performance metrics, the majority of SMEs one see are still reasonably focused on share price plus looking at what's going to impact on that.

Small Business whether they are in Finland or functioning in any part of the world, without quality may not survive for long as we all know that businesses live to manufacture commodities and services, failing to do so may resulting bad market reputation and SMEs may have to struggle a lot to gain the lost reputation back as it may prove to be very costly for them. Anyone thinking of opening their own industry or amalgamating obtainable business desires information of what makes businesses perform productively and to be acquainted with how to be appropriate that acquaintance to a meticulous business. For example, imagine a seller who doesn't make out what his trade is demanding to attain or what makes it dissimilar from its competitors.

Envision a production manager who is not capable to give details to personnel what quality means, or Does not appreciate the expression 'an despotic boss; Businesses alter inputs such as toil and resources into outputs in arrange to create merchandise and services that are according to the needs of their clientele. One needs to be talented to follow the production procedure in order to appreciate the physical transformations and behaviour that guide to the completed result or release of a service. As of knowledge concerning the production procedure one will appreciate the method in which price is supplementary to a product all the way through. one require to be talented to differentiate involving these major ways of calculation worth those are; Combining inputs to generate a bodily alter, Combining inputs to generate a service, gathering client necessities.

One requires to be acquainted with that quality is an imperative issue all the way through the manufacture procedure. One needs to be talented to differentiate involving quality be in charge of and excellence pledge. Quality control means inspecting or taxing excellence at different points in the produce of an artificial goods or release of a service. It is typically practical throughout or subsequent to production. Though, a lot of businesses use organization-wide approaches to excellence that makes quality the accountability of one and all at all stages of the manufacture of the merchandise or services.

There are many quality control and declaration systems counting; Total Quality Management (TQM), Quality circles, Self-checking or inspection, ISO 9000, Benchmarking, Training and development that may boost the reputation of the SMEs. The Finesse SMEs would require being familiar with in which situation dissimilar quality control and pledge systems may be apposite. One requires being capable to explain their comparative compensation and disadvantages and appreciate how one structure works in feature.

All the above said approaches if applied successfully and professionally will definitely have a great impact on the relationship between the organization and its clients. And this raises the scale of buying and selling, and the organization and or the company can then enjoy more earning with a huge clientele. Quality helps the organization in this way that when a customer is satisfied with the quality of a product first time he uses it, he will definitely come again and will also refer it to others. This will make the relation between him and the organization more strong. Therefore, one can easily observe the enormous effects of quality and its management on the success of an organization's life in order to make it successful.

Reputation initiatives have to be approached by means of caution and have to be closely aligned by means of corporate values. Reputation gets really bad press, and deservedly so, if it is treated as a program that is run out of the corporate affairs department as well as has no actual relevance to the way the organization operates. On those concepts, I'm by means of the naysayers for the reason that one can't just apply these things and put in programs in addition to hope for the best: that's bad governance along with poor risk management. All it does is buying one a much bigger problem for the reason that the promises one make through those programs are never actually met by the activities of the organization. A reputation is no further than delivering on a promise. So if one continually breach that promise for the reason that one's programs are covering something that is not deep in the culture of one's organization one get found out.


The work of researchers is no doubt extremely rich in information plus offers and in depth information regarding the reputation in small trade's context in Finland however after going through the overall work carried out in the article one might still feel that there is a lot further room for the topic to be further investigated not only in the context of Finesse background however other parts of the world can in addition be covered in order to make the readers understand how reputation is taken in to consideration in other parts of the world. I personally think, countries like UK, China, Japan and other developed countries will not be a bad idea to investigate. As this is a vast topic that offers loads of potential for the reader and understandings of reputation in the study have to not be therefore limited to a country or its companies only. Reputation counts no matter the trade is small or big so it will be a fruitful approach if the topic is further investigate in the light of big trade and big names in the contemporary markets.


The article review shows the inherently complex, even conflicting, nature of reputation. While reputation holds opportunities, it can in addition have restrictive effects. Reputation in this study was not reconstructed exclusively as a resource however in addition as a liability: its negative plus dark side was described as well. The social exclusion discourse (re)constructed the inherent negativity of reputation in the small trade context. Reputation was constructed as bearing a potential risk to the owner-managers' good personal relations by means of society in a situation where the reputation of the trade is tarnished. On the other hand, the control discourse dispelled the idea of the autonomy of the owner-manager as well as entrepreneurial freedom, thus emphasizing the dark side of reputation. Furthermore, researchers in the article argue that since the discursive construction of reputation is a social process, emotions are an inherent part of reputation. Reputation was emotionally constructed especially in relation to the fear of shame. Even though a number of researchers state that the feeling of shame can actually work as a motivator of entrepreneurial activity, the researchers conclude that shame, being a strongly culturally bound concept, can in addition hinder the risk taking of small trades. Thus, the article proposes that the negative aspects of reputation might actually construct limitations along with boundaries in the cultural representations of owning and managing a small trade. Further specifically, such representations can marginalize the interest towards small-scale entrepreneurship as a career choice since they limit the idea of entrepreneurial freedom as well as autonomy, which actually are significant incentives for people to engage in entrepreneurial activities.


According to the researcher Several Finesse SMEs make the mistake of assuming that all that is needed to protect the reputation or brand is media training plus crisis planning. However, once corporate wrongdoing, or behaviour that is unacceptable to a number of stakeholders, gets into the public domain, it might well be too late. Impeccable crisis handling along with PR spin will be unable to prevent those facts damaging the organization's reputation. The only way to successfully manage reputation in addition to brand risk is by an integrated strategy that comes as of the top - for it has to be not the gloss that paints over the cracks however one of the key drivers of one's corporate strategy.

Researcher notes one of the keys to establishing reputation risk management inside an organization is to build it as of the 'inside out', rather than the 'outside in' as a reaction or a response to an incident. SMEs that factor good governance frameworks around the core of their trades automatically create sustainable reputations. They are recognized as being responsible by key audiences such as employees, shareholders as well as the community, and are rewarded as a result.

Researcher in the article stresses that reputation has been a significant aspect of SMEs since the emergence of exchange economies. Reputations can ensure promised actions are taken devoid of the expense of external enforcement mechanisms or third party monitoring such as credit card companies. The Internet plus subsequent development of e-commerce allow an increasing number of small players to engage in buying in addition to selling. SMEs in Finland are prime instances of how small trades, particularly those serving niche markets, can overcome the previously forbidding marketing costs and reach customers by means of relatively low information costs. This trend leads further to transactions that take place entirely via the Internet when the product or service itself can be delivered on-line in addition to using the Internet to identify, negotiate as well as pay for the transaction.

However, this environment increases the significance of establishing trust in a market where everyone can choose to be anonymous, people might only participate in a few transactions, each transaction might be of relatively low value, in addition to transactions readily cross jurisdictional boundaries raising the difficulty of legal contract enforcement.

Further generally, reputation can help address two issues: moral hazard along with adverse selection. In this article, the researchers focus on moral hazard: whether a party to a contract will choose to fulfil their part of the contract (sending payment or delivering the good, for a buyer or seller, respectively). Adverse selection involves people by means of hidden heterogeneous exogenous characteristics such as degrees of competence at providing a good or service. Since these characteristics are hidden to potential customers beforehand, they might question whether the advertised terms of a contract accurately reflect the quality they will receive.

As a result, a proper reputation mechanism might in addition help address adverse selection, i.e., distinguishing among sellers by means of dissimilar characteristics. Even though this is in addition an interesting issue, the experiments described in this paper focus on moral hazard; That is, researchers focus on situations in which people face the question of whether a proposed transaction will proceed as agreed. This is a significant issue in the context of the internet for the reason that even though a given person might engage in several transactions, only a few might be by means of a particular person, thereby limiting the ability to learn as of direct experience.

Establishing trust through repeated interactions has been studied in several contexts, particularly by means of the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. These give rise to strategies, such as tit-for-tat, to ensure cooperation. Another instance is the experimental study of the "lemon" market in which reputation substantially affects behaviour. Unlike the Prisoner's Dilemma scenario, people in a market can choose not to do trade by means of those deemed untrustworthy, or offer dissimilar terms based on perceived level of trust. Large companies can spread risk among several transactions (e.g., insurance) so have predictability arising as of averaging over several individuals. On the other hand, small-scale transactions on the Internet lack this feature, perhaps leading risk-adverse people to avoid transactions that might benefit both parties. Such avoided transactions reduce market efficiency plus hence decrease the potential economic gains as of Internet's reduction in information as well as transaction costs.

Concluding the Review:

This review of the article "Towards a Variety of Meanings - Multiple Representations of Reputation in the Small Trade Context" by Merja La¨hdesma¨ ki and Marjo Siltaoja is basically an exercise which enables the reviewer to understand and produce some critics that are genuine and fair by going through the piece of work. The review proved to be an excellent activity for me as reviewer i found it extremely interesting as I had extra pressure to come up by means of excellent review, this exercise enabled me to read, understand and come up by means of some ideas which I have abstracted as of the piece of work by by Merja La¨hdesma¨ ki and Marjo Siltaoja, in addition this review will prove to be a useful resource for the reader to understand what the articles and what are different methodologies used that enabled the researcher to come up by means of such findings and to what extent these finding are valid in the context of small trades in Finland.


The work by the researcher no doubt is rich in information plus enables one to understand the seriousness of the topic. Reputation and its significance in the small trades has been smartly analysed and researched by the researcher in their piece of work. It will be unfair if one would just over look at the number of sources that researchers have used in order to come up by means of this masterpiece. The article makes it clear for the leader that how sensitive the issue of reputation is for small trades and this what most small trades concentrate on in order to make sure that the reputation they have got in the market is not spoiled by means of wrongly judged circumstances and poor decisions. As we all know that market conditions are very much fragile and trades are struggling to survive in the contemporary market environments which are very fragile yet very dynamic. This is simply for the reason that of the threats like recession and credit crunch that has weakened the markets and trade situations and trades might have to face over night shutting down if it fails to maintain the standards which it is known for.