Paul Holmes 02 Jan 2005 // 12:00AM GMT
More than two-thirds of Americans are disappointed with business efforts to protect American jobs, give back to local communities, protect the environment and disclose important financial information, according the RoperNOP Corporate Reputation Scorecard, a survey of 6,500 adult Americans.
More than three quarters of those responding to the survey (78 percent), say American companies put too little effort into protecting American jobs, and 70 percent say they put too little effort in giving back to the communities where they operate. Majorities also rated companies poorly on protecting the environment (68 percent) and disclosing important financial information (66 percent).
More than four in 10 (44 percent) said companies put too little effort into complying with government regulations and almost as many (42 percent) said they put too little effort into providing equal opportunities for women—although only 29 percent said they came up short when it comes to providing equal opportunities to minorities.
“The current crisis in corporate reputation may reflect not only the impact of ongoing accounting scandals, but also the view that big businesses aren’t meeting the needs of the larger community,” said John Gilfeather, vice chairman of RoperASW and director of the RoperNOP Corporate Reputation Scorecard. “Americans expect more from corporate America than they are getting.”
The Scorecard also asked Americans to describe U.S. corporations using eight personality traits (strong, greedy, arrogant, deceitful, friendly, trustworthy, dull or fun). More than half of adults feel most large U.S. corporations are “greedy” (63 percent) and “arrogant” (52 percent) while less than a third say they are “trustworthy” (27 percent) and “fun” (13 percent).
“The results indicate a continued distrust in American corporations suggesting that today’s business leaders must take steps to tame the hostile environment,” says Gilfeather.
The Scorecard also uncovered a disparity among industries with automotive and technology seen as the most “trustworthy” (44 percent and 39 percent respectively) and financial services facing the greatest challenge with only 26 percent using this trait to describe the industry.