Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


A short guide to reputational risk

April 2010

Garry Honey. Paperback. 120 pages. Gower Press. £25/$50.

This is precise, explicit and jargon-free – no small compliment for a book dealing with a field that, as its author outlines with some clarity, is sometimes the victim of – and often relies upon – duplicity and obfuscation.

Complex ideas are couched in Honey’s simple and leisurely sentences. The book, at just over 100 pages, is of course a short guide, but with topics ranging from ‘Sources of risk’ to ‘Charles Fombrun’s reputation quotient’, Honey doesn’t shy away from detail or depth. His strength is that he makes these things easily understandable to a non-specialist.

Despite its academic authorship, the book is exemplary for the conscious clarity and digestability of its structure. The writing is split into accessible divisions and sub-divisions, whose short, punchy sections are interspersed with clear visual aids.

Although the book is concise and introductory, however, it is by no means narrow in its outlook. In its diversity of approach, its broad interpretation of what constitutes reputational risk and its short but fascinating case studies at the end, it pulls off that most unusual achievement: an introduction that clearly informs and suggestively questions.

Although the word-count may not seem to justify the price tag, the fact that this book has so much potential to be of genuine use to beginners in reputational risk surely does.

Ben Hickman

Ben Hickman | Global | Reputational Risk

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