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Perception of Corporate Responsibility Linked to Reputation

Submitted by: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

Categories: Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Oct 16, 2008 – 12:24 PM EST


Boston College Center and Reputation Institute release new research Top 50 companies recognized – Google listed as No. 1

Oct. 16 /CSRwire/ - CHESTNUT HILL, MA. - October 16, 2008 - A new ranking of the top 50 companies in the United States that the public distinguishes for corporate social responsibility was released today by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute.

Google, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson top the 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Index (CSRI). Rounding out the top 10 are: Walt Disney, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Levi Strauss, UPS, Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft.

The ranking was created using data principally collected for Reputation Institute's 2008 Global Pulse Study. In creating this first CSRI, the researchers used a subset of survey results that focused on more than 200 companies with a dominant presence in the United States and believed to have a reasonably high recognition factor with the general public. The data used focused on the public perception about a company's corporate citizenship, governance and workplace practices. Get copy of the report on Corporate Reputation and Social Responsibility Rankings at www.BCCorporateCitizenship.org.

'Although the survey was taken before the Wall Street collapse, the U.S. findings show that corporate governance—ethics and transparency—are increasing in their importance to overall corporate reputation," said Philip Mirvis, senior research fellow for the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

"This is the first time we see how the public votes on how companies operate as corporate citizens,"said Mirvis referring to the survey that asked the public to judge a company on how it treats employees, its ethics, and its community involvement and respect for the environment.

By focusing on the three dimensions of corporate citizenship, governance and workplace practices surveyed for the larger Global Pulse Study, Reputation Institute and the Boston College Center were able to gain greater insight into the combined influence on reputation of social programs, management practices, and employee relations.

These three measures account for more than 40 percent of a company's reputation, according to Reputation Institute’s analysis. This makes it critical for companies to communicate how they support good causes, protect the environment, treat their employees, and run their business ethically.

On a scale of 1-to-100, top-ranked Google scored 80.84. With the exception of Berkshire Hathaway, consumer-oriented companies made up the majority of the top 20 CSRI performers. Only a few business-to-business focused companies were included in the top 50: Cisco Systems (70.96), Sun Microsystems (70.70), Express Scripts (70.32), Deloitte & Touche (70.12) and Boeing (69.88). The general public tends to rate makers of consumer products, computers, and beverages higher along social dimensions. Industries that fall below the global average include construction/engineering, finance, utilities and telecommunications.

Reputation Institute has been measuring corporate reputations rigorously since 1999 using an approach based on: 1) a carefully developed model of what constitutes reputation; 2) a rigorous process that ensures representative results, and 3) a process of analysis that standardizes output that enables international and cross-industry comparisons. Reputation Institute publishes its annual results with Forbes.com.

About the Global Pulse 2008 Study

The CSRI was created using data collected for Reputation Institute's Global Pulse 2008, which was conducted online between February and March of 2008. A Pulse score is a measure of corporate reputation calculated by averaging perceptions of four indicators of trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling obtained from a representative sample of at least 100 local respondents who were familiar with the company. Scores range from a low of 0 to a high of 100, Pulse scores that differ by more than +/-0.5 are significantly different at the 95 percent confidence level. The global mean for all companies included in the study was a 64.2.

About the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is a membership-based research organization associated with the Carroll School of Management. It is committed to helping business leverage its social, economic and human assets to ensure both its success and a more just and sustainable world. As a leading resource on corporate citizenship, the Center works with global corporations to help them define, plan, and operationalize their corporate citizenship. Through the power of research, executive education and the insights of its 350 corporate members, the Center creates knowledge, value and demand for corporate citizenship. The Center offers publications including a newsletter, research reports and white papers; executive education, including three Certificate programs; events that include an annual conference, roundtables and regional meetings; peer-to-peer learning forums and a corporate membership program.

About Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute is a private advisory and research firm specializing in corporate reputation management. With offices and associates in more than 20 countries, Reputation Institute provides knowledge-based consulting services to some of the most respected companies worldwide. Its consulting teams regularly help global clients assess value and act on their reputations by providing strategic analysis and direction, as well as relevant assistance in developing and implementing reputation measurement and management systems. Reputation Institute also identifies best practices from original research, and shares its cutting-edge findings with clients and members through engagements, seminars, conferences and publications. The Global Pulse is Reputation Institute's flagship research study conducted annually with some 60,000 consumers in 27 countries from whom emerge detailed ratings of the reputations of the world's 1,000 largest companies. Each year, the results of this study are featured in leading business publications around the world. Visit ReputationInstitute.com to learn more about how you can unlock the power of your reputation.

For more information, please contact:

Peggy Connolly Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Phone: 617-645-5555
Phone 2: 617-552-0722
Allison Young Reputation Institute
Phone: 212 495 3855 – ext. 320


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