The Observatory on Corporate Reputation, or The OCR, was founded at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2008 during the economic collapse by Dr. Craig Carroll, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The mission was to advance research on corporate reputation that assisted in the social and economic development of North Carolina. The OCR served as a research hub where a number of companies, including the SAS Institute, Lenovo, Cisco, TV Eyes, Custom Scoop, and KD Paine & Partners supported and sponsored Dr. Carroll’s research on corporate reputation with corporate gifts-in-kind exceeding $1.2 million. The OCR supported graduate and undergraduate research, and supported a lab of 50 students from across campus that gave students hands on experience in media analysis and evaluation. In addition to the OCR’s regular supporters, students interned at the World Economic Forum and took jobs with companies such as APCO Worldwide in New York. When the last student affiliated with OCR graduated, the OCR incorporated as an LLC, established a presence in New York City and satellite affiliates at universities throughout Europe and Asia.

Since the founding of the OCR, three books on corporate reputation have been published.

The first, sponsored by the Center for International Business and Management at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, supported Dr. Carroll in the publishing of a research compendium of case studies of media influence on corporate reputation in 24 countries around the world, in Corporate Reputation and the News Media (Routledge, 2011)

Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation (SAGE Publications, 2016)