This paper investigates how the presentation of performance information affects stakeholders' attitudes towards firms that seek to enhance their reputation. Specifically, we investigate the effect of three information characteristics on stakeholder attitudes toward the firm: the message source, information type (numeric vs. verbal information), and reference point (trend vs. competitor comparisons). An experiment employing a 3×2×2 design is utilized, showing that the source of the information interacts with both the reference point and information type to affect attitude change. The "consistency" between source and information type or reference point determines the impact on degree of attitude change. Our results have important implications for managers, demonstrating that reputation does not have to be merely a passive reflection of a firm, but can be the target of a firm's active management.
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