Professor William Harvey

Associate Dean (Research & Impact), Professor of Management

Research area

I am working in the area of reputation, researching how organisations and leaders build, manage, change and repair their reputations in an era of unprecedented public scrutiny.

What is the name of your current research project, and what does it focus on?

I am exploring how global professional service firms like management consulting and executive search firms are currently seeking to change their reputations because of external threats to their business.

What other institutions/partners are involved in the project?

This is a collection of collaborative projects on reputation working with scholars in the public policy cluster at the University of Exeter as well as with scholars at the University of Bristol, the University of Oxford, the University of Virginia, the University of Sydney, China Europe International Business School and ESC Rennes School of Business.

What impact do you hope the research will have?

This work is helping managers and leaders to understand the dynamics and delicacies of changing one's reputation. We are in an era where clients are typically highly knowledgeable about the expertise of different professional service firms and so leaders must be cautious with how they seek to change their reputations.

What are the potential challenges involved in your research?

A constant tension for leaders of professional service firms is between strengthening existing areas of expertise and developing new areas of expertise. Such choices are fraught with difficulty because they depend on the unpredictable responses of clients in uncertain markets of the future.