PurposeIt is an unfortunate and sometimes entirely avoidable prospect that very successful companies can suffer self-inflicted reputational harm due to poor corporate executive decision making. One contemporary example is seen with the once popular and rapidly growing pizza chain, Papa John’s as the company has been facing an uphill battle to recover its reputational standing following recent scandal. This article examines the recovery process and the very specific complications with the company itself.Design/methodology/approachThis is a case study approach examining corporate reputational recovery using a four-pronged turnaround model of replacing the leadership, restructuring the organization, redeveloping the strategy, and re-branding the product.FindingsWhile the four pronged approach of replace, restructure, redevelop, and re-brand, appears to be a model that can work across industries, there are some challenges depending on corporate specifics. The major challenge with Papa John’s seems to be in the ongoing connection to the founder with related problems dealing with the legacy of the corporate culture. After all, it is very difficult to move beyond reputational damage for a company still bearing the name of the corporate executive who had been the source of the scandal as well as a company that is largely intact structurally.Originality/valueThis article examines the corporate recovery process for Papa Johns Pizza using a four step model for corporate recovery. The new four pronged approach centers on replacement of the corporate leadership, restructure of the organization, redevelopment of strategy and the re-branding of the product. Papa Johns continues to struggle to regain traction following public relations stumbles in 2017 and 2018 and the four pronged corporate recovery model serves as a valuable analytical tool to examine the impact and effectiveness of their efforts thus far as well as their future prospects.
Strategic Direction – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 14, 2020
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