Business Reputation Risk

The goals for this and subsequent posts...(professional papers) at the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ regarding reputation risk, are to favorably influence interest in putting in place practical and effective measures to largely alleviate, but, at minimum, mitigate, the materialization of reputation – conduct risks to businesses.  

Whether one is referring to calamities experienced by a competitor…the fate of one’s own business, or whether the sun will rise in the east, one can apply the noun ‘inevitability’ to either circumstance – event to indicate that something, very likely adverse to reputation, will occur at some point. Unfortunately, and often unnecessarily, the materialization of business reputation risks are becoming costly inevitabilities, some of which are irreversible.

Inevitability is related to the Latin word…evitare, meaning “avoid.” When you add on the prefix in-, meaning “not,” and the noun suffix -ity at the end, it assumes the quality of being unavoidable. Inevitability is perhaps more frequently applied to describe grim and what’s believed to be unavoidable circumstances,

Put another way, the word ‘inevitable’ derives from…the Latin word inevitabilis, which translates as unavoidable. For example, if one believes that some future event-act is inevitable, they are, in essence, conveying their sense that no matter what scheme, process, practice, or procedure is  executed to prevent or mitigate the occurrence of that event-act, either, at some point, will materialize, e.g., a person can consistently apply various skin moisturizing products, but, short of surgery, at some point, wrinkles have a high probability of appearing. Yes, some skin wrinkling may be delayed, but inevitably wrinkling will be evident.

It’s important to note, inevitability also has…applicability in light-hearted contexts, i.e. the much-welcomed predictability (inevitability) of happy endings to many fairy tales.

For an untold number of businesses today…reputation – conduct risk(s) materialize and embody a business’s operational culture and its products – services.  The various maladies – manifestations of business reputation – conduct risk are especially-evident and impairing when the materialize in entities – businesses which are absent preparation and execution of effective organizational resilience that fully encompasses intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, ala foundational intangible assets.

The goals for this and subsequent posts here are…achievable by examining documented (open source) examples which variously – broadly argue that business reputation risks presented by conduct should not be dismissed, only to become culture, nor perceived as the proverbial ‘fortress built upon sand’.

To be sure, business reputation risks emanating from misguided – unthinking (unlawful, unethical) conduct-behavior is fiscally, valuatively, and competitively unsustainable.

Arguably, reputation – conduct risks can exacerbate…during periods of domestic, international, political, and economic stress and confusion, intertwined with tactless and careless verbal free-for-alls played out on social media which frequently resemble ‘drop the mic’ expressions which literally race past the mere improbable to manifest as unfiltered and unthinking inevitables for the materialization of reputation risk.

Although business awareness (fiduciary responsibility) to…effectively address – mitigate reputation – conduct risk is growing, a not, insubstantial percentage of the current schemes in this regard, are unlikely to be effective unless – until business leadership and management teams recognize such initiatives are obliged to…

  • encompass the economic fact that today, and for the irreversible and foreseeable future, 80+% of most businesses value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability lie in – emerge directly from intangible assets, i.e., business specific variations of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, and
  • recognize reputation is an intangible asset!

Michael D. Moberly  St. Louis  [email protected]  ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006,   600+ posts  ‘where attention span, intangible assets, and solutions converge’!

Readers are invited to review other blog posts, books, and briefing papers addressing a range of intangible asset issues at

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