Global Executive Survey
25 January 2007 at 11:18 am
A substantial majority of global business executives (79%) believe that companies with strong corporate responsibility track records recover their reputations faster post-crisis than those with weaker records.
This finding did not differ by region. The survey, Safeguarding Reputation, was conducted in 11 markets by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick with KRC Research.
Weber Shandwick’s International Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Brendan May says reputation recovery is increasingly driven by more than financial metrics.
May says that as social, economic and political agendas increasingly influence consumer and market issues, companies now recognise that a record of corporate responsibility can inoculate a company against long-term reputation failure.
He says responsibility is no a longer nice-to-have. It is now a must-have corporate mandate.
Global business executives were also asked to rate factors that build company reputation today.
Over half (55%) of those surveyed report that being recognised as committed to corporate responsibility contributes “a lot” to a company’s overall reputation.
European and Asia Pacific executives were more likely than their North American counterparts to agree on the importance of corporate responsibility in driving reputation.
Safeguarding Reputation was conducted by Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research among 950 global business executives in 11 countries spanning North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Brazil was the only Latin American country participating in the survey. All interviews were conducted by telephone between July 20 and August 8, 2006.
The research also found that reputation crises are on the rise.
It found that the convergence of globalisation, instantaneous news and online citizen journalism magnifies any corporate wrongdoing or other misstep. Barely a day goes by without some company facing new assaults to its reputation. The disclosure of HP’s board investigation of leaks made headlines around the world, as did Japan’s Internet media company Livedoor when it reportedly violated Japanese Securities and Exchange Law.
Nearly nine out of 10 business executives surveyed agree that there has been a growing trend of corporate reputation damage, with Asia Pacific executives even more likely to report a rise in tarnished reputations.
This finding complements a 2005 Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey among global senior executives, where 84 percent reported that reputation risk had increased significantly over the past five years.
You can access the Safeguard Reputation Survey Executive Summary at the link below.