The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility

Survey: Companies Worry More About Reputational Risk

Perhaps not surprisingly, heightened concern over risk to corporate reputation is “noticeably” affecting how senior management and boards are doing business, according to a July 2010 survey of corporate executives.

Board RoomThe survey, conducted by executive recruiters Korn/Ferry International, found that 59 percent of executives believe that the recent increase in awareness on corporate reputation risk “will affect their Board’s view of reputation management and crisis preparedness.”

Only 28 percent said that the shift will have no effect, while 13 percent were unsure of how the focus on corporate reputation would impact their company.

More than half of the executives (58 percent) believe that their company “has improved the quality and timeliness of information shared with the Board to assist in better risk planning and management,” the survey found.  Fifty-seven percent of senior executives surveyed said that directors and executives are currently spending more time dealing with risk management.

Fourteen percent revealed that their company is actually spending less time on risk management, while 26 percent said there has been no change at all.

While most respondents agreed that responsibility for managing risk belonged at the top of an organization, there was varied opinion as to where: 43 percent felt responsibility fell to the Chief Executive Officer, 19 percent to the Chief Operating Officer, 20 percent to the Chief Risk Officer and 8 percent to a company’s Lead Director.

Korn/Ferry said the survey included responses from several hundred executives in more than 65 countries “representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas."

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