Last Updated Jan 24, 2011 4:09 PM EST
Despite the financial crisis and the hubbub surrounding the MBA Oath, researcher from Melbourne Business School and University of Technology, Sydney, write that, when MBA students evaluate a job offer, "Reputation has only marginal value."
The researchers, Pat Auger of Melbourne Business School, with Timonthy M. Devinney, Grahame R. Dowling, Christine Eckert, and Nidthida Perm-Ajchariyawong of the University of Technology, Sydney, defined a company's reputation in three ways, each divided into three tiers:
- Social reputation: Named by the Global Reporting Initiative as one of the top 25% of companies globally; not listed by the Initiative but generally respected, or not listed and occasionally known to get some negative press about its social reputation
- Workplace reputation: Used the same three tiers as above, but used Hewitt's Best Employer's Survey to rank companies
- Corporate reputation: Used the same three tiers as above, but used the Reputation Institute to rank companies
- "High ethical standards" was chosen as a factor less than 10% of the time.
- "Social positioning of the company" was chosen just 1.7% of the time.
- The students were most concerned with salary, opportunity for advancement, and time and travel demands.
- Corporate reputation and workplace reputation mattered only marginally, and even then only when students were comparing companies with the very best and very worst reputations.
- Students who said work/life balance was important to them did generally make that a significant factor in their hypothetical job choices.
- A negative workplace reputation had an impact, but a neutral-to-positive one didn't.
- Certification (being on an outside authority's list) mattered only in the case of corporate reputation.
- Those who initially told the researchers they wanted to change the world by making a social contribution were not willing to take a salary hit to do it.
- Bonus-heavy compensation structures were unpopular.
- Being asked to move to a small town was extremely unpopular.
- The older the student, the more importance they placed on a company's reputation.
- Corporate reputation mattered most to those anticipating careers in marketing, general management, and information technology.
- Workplace reputation mattered most to those who wanted to work in general management.
- Social reputation only mattered to those working in operations.
Image courtesy of flickr user, country_boy_shane
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