Management Seminars: Will Harvey
Dr Will Harvey (Exeter Business School)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndall's Park Road, BRISTOL BS8 1PQ
Title: Organisational threats and reputation change among global executive firms in Sydney
This paper focuses on the organisational threats faced by retained global executive search firms in Sydney, Australia. Drawing on two rounds of interviews with managing partners and secondary sources on the retained executive search industry, we found that these firms faced three threats: the global financial crisis; questions around the industry’s status; and the proliferation of new technology. Our data show that there was not a single coherent response from firms, but rather a piecemeal approach that focused on: diversifying service offerings; highlighting their symbolic capital; and humanizing their firms through key individuals. The paper provides an important theoretical contribution to how firms manage reputation change in light of multiple organisational threats. Empirically, the paper contributes to the professional services literature by providing valuable insights into how these firms respond to reputation threats during a period of unprecedented economic and social-technological change.