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Researching the Board
Michelle Norman, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2006
Rarely does market research shape Board-level decisions at a major plc. But when marketing services company Aegis Group faced the need to evaluate the performance of its Board it turned to research agency Synovate.
Rarely does market research shape Board-level decisions at a major plc. But when marketing services company Aegis Group faced the need to evaluate the performance of its Board it turned to research agency Synovate. What began as a compliance measure soon turned into an initiative to drive performance improvement, as analysis yielded tactical information addressing individual performance and development efforts, and even generated the creation of new appointments. Drawing upon the research conducted, the paper explores the principles of Board effectiveness, the role of research in evaluating them and, ultimately, its ability to enhance Board performance and company strategy.
The business world will never be the same: the contribution of research to corporate governance post-Enron
Allan Hyde and Brian Gosschalk, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2005, pp. 29-44
Our paper considers, in the light of such corporate failures as Enron, the reputation of large businesses and those who run and advise them.
Our paper considers, in the light of such corporate failures as Enron, the reputation of large businesses and those who run and advise them. Drawing on the results of surveys conducted across many territories, and among diverse stakeholder groups, our paper illustrates that an already sceptical public has become even less trusting of ‘big business.’ Meanwhile, the systems previously relied upon to help guide and monitor corporate performance were clearly in need of re-engineering. It is our assertion that stakeholders require far greater reassurance over the twin pillars on which corporate health rests: a company’s financial performance and its corporate governance procedures. We consider here both pillars and the role of primary research in helping to inform those charged with understanding and improving them. In the post-Enron environment, we believe, stakeholders require even greater reassurance over a company’s financial performance and corporate governance procedures and, while information on company performance needs to be accurately collected and verified, those charged with this task (primarily directors and auditors) must themselves be deserving of public trust. Following this, all pertinent information must be clearly and widely communicated and, above all, a sense of openness and transparency generated. Research has been an essential tool for auditors, regulators and others seeking insight on these issues. Looking ahead, we foresee this trend continuing, as the ‘softer’ measures provided by research came to play an increasingly important role in evaluating the corporate health of companies.
Can MR help ‘disclose’ what vested interests want to actively ‘suppress’? Helping governments and institutions measure corrupt business practices
Balendu Shrivastava and Bhupendra Mathur, ESOMAR, Public Sector Research, Berlin, May 2004
The paper builds a model / framework to apply research designs to measure corrupt business practices specially in the areas where the respondents have a vested interest in actively suppressing the information.
The paper builds a model / framework to apply research designs to measure corrupt business practices specially in the areas where the respondents have a vested interest in actively suppressing the information. The model has been justified using examples from three studies on measurement of corrupt practices.
The business world will never be the same
Allan Hyde and Brian Gosschalk, ESOMAR, Congress 2003
This paper examines business and public attitudes to corporate governance post-Enron. The crisis of confidence in business is explored, drawing on data from several countries.
This paper examines business and public attitudes to corporate governance post-Enron. The crisis of confidence in business is explored, drawing on data from several countries. The public policy debate about the future of corporate governance is also addressed. The paper also demonstrates the role of research in this key boardroom issue.
Business ethics - making the world a better place
Charlotte Hines and Michele Corrado, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2001
A study of the worldwide pressures from consumers and other stakeholders on companies to adopt ethical standards and practices.
A study of the worldwide pressures from consumers and other stakeholders on companies to adopt ethical standards and practices. Development of these concerns over the past few decades described, and current perceptions. Various research projects by MORI in the area are quoted, especially research for the Co-operative Bank. This showed that, whilst ethical policies are considered very important, they do not rank higher than conventional product attribute (quality, service, value) when making purchase decisions. MORI identify five attitudinal clusters in Britain, which cross conventional socio-political boundaries: they are labelled `Do what I can' (49%), `Look after my own' (22%), `Conscientious consumers' (18%), `Global watchdogs' (5%), and `Brand generation' (6%). Another MORI survey for the OST looked at attitudes to developments in the bio-sciences, and ranked these in order of perceived benefit/disbenefit. Objections to some of these (e.g. genetically modified food, cloning) are very strong, although in part this may be due to ignorance of what is entailed. Distrust of companies is high and growing, and regaining consumer confidence will be difficult, at a time when expectations of companies are rising. Paper concludes that it is very important for companies to change their traditional ways of thinking and adapt, integrate ethical issues with their business, and communicate this effectively: governments must help.
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