Reputational capital can be described in one word as the authority.
It’s the external world’s response to your intentions, its readiness to support you with its resources.
This support can be shown both in a form of investment (investing resources in reliance on their repayment with interest), and in a form of a gift (gratuitous investment/transfer of resources), and in many other forms…
Reputational capital is capacity (potential) of a reputation carrier to implement activities that change the world. And these changes are timely for external participants/observers and for their readiness/aspirations to support these activities.
Reputational capital manifests in the context of an intention, manifested to the external world, and is based on the acquired inner resource of a reputation carrier. Having said that, the more resonant (important, timely) is the declared intention (and/or an activity, carried out for its implementation) for the representatives of the external world, and the more it corresponds to their perceptions of a reputation carrier, the more ready they are to invest and gift him their resources.
Expansion of a personal reputational capital is in the core of reputation management activities. The key tool for capitalization of reputation is the “conversion” of intentions into actions – expansion of social authority of a reputation carrier.
There’s one more important aspect of the “conversion” – authenticity and timeliness of reputation carrier’s activities from the point of view of respondent groups. So authority is as triune as reputation.
To understand the essence of the reputational capital it’s important to form an opinion about certain forms of participation in reputation carrier’s intentions, such as “investing”, “gifting” and “donating”.
Investing is a transfer of resources for temporary use and expecting their return in bigger amount: the direct or directly measurable repayment of invested resources in within the stipulated (fixed) timescale.
Gifting is a termless transfer of resources in expectation of getting profit in an essentially different form: gratitude, social implementation (affiliation with a “big cause”), changing the outside world etc.
Donating is a non-repayable and indefinite transfer of resources.
In the current economic reality “investing” is the most widely spread form of participation in intentions of a reputation object.
“I will give you my voice because I believe that you will return it to me by improving my life, through social programs for me and my loved ones, through personal rewards…”
“I will buy this car because I believe your claim that it will make me mobile; will enhance my social status; will bring me more pleasure from driving…»
Next horizon is “gifting” – transfer of resources with the expectation of receiving profit in essentially new form and without clearly stipulated terms (“long trust”).
“I’m willing to give my voice to those who can change our country for the better, and I’m not expecting any personal reward”.
“I will buy this product even if it’s more expensive then a compatible one, because the manufacturer helps children (fights diseases, makes the world better)”.
And “donating”/”sacrificing” – the highest level of participation in actions and the highest level of trust for reputation owner’s intentions.
“I will lay down my life defending my country“.
“I will give all of my capital for a flight to Mars…”
In fact, investing, gifting and donating are the actions on three levels of social awareness of a subject: personal, collective, global.
Modern economy is mostly built upon the principle of investing, where the profit can be measured in money – current universal measure of value.
Nowadays, when money itself became a product and an item of trade, economy and its big frame – social interactions – demand different measuring instruments and transformation of already existing ones.
Hence the question: is moneyless economy even possible? Most probably yes. Will it be the economy of the direct exchange? Perhaps. Current means of communication allow you to keep accounts and fast conversion of one type of products into another one.
But most probably it’s going to be the economy of “common benefit” as the transitional phase before the economy of “gifting”.
And the key to this will be the capacity to attract resources, not the capacity to practically own them.
The current basic concept is that accumulated resources that led to creation of the consumer society will give way to the society of common actions, where more important thing is going to be the attraction of resources for common projects, not owning them. During this transition it’s crucial to understand the fact that money cannot measure all the resources that can be attracted by the reputation carrier.
To get the full picture of the reputational capital we probably need to speak also about the energy of the world transformation, which includes material, emotional and spiritual components, as well as corresponding counterparts – measuring tools – of every subject’s contribution to the process.
Creation of a new system of social interaction is a big and promising task. And one of the steps towards it, in my opinion, is to modernize existing money. For example – through combining of the three parameters: products-energy-time. Thus the value of a monetary unit will be equal to its provision with kilowatt hour of electric energy in current economic system and its correlation to person-hour, expended upon receiving it. But it’s much more important to create a scale to evaluate non-material factors, which will lead to the appearance of “reputational currency”.