CSR and Return on Reputation

There are two ways to look at one set of numbers from the MORI/Hill & Knowlton's global survey of financial analysts -- Return on Reputation: when asked the question Which of the following non-financial elements contribute to your assessment of a company's value?approximately 93% of respondents identified "transparent disclosure and strong governance", second only after "execution of company strategy".

That's good news for those of us -- Don Tapscott and David Ticoll included -- who argue that transparency has, and will, become a driver of corporate reputation. To the same question, however, only 22.0% of respondents identified "social responsibility and community involvement" as non-financial elements affecting their assessment of a company's value, which is dispiriting news for those of us -- like Lynn Sharp Paine, author of Value Shift: Why Companies Must Merge Social and Financial Imperatives to Achieve Superior Performance -- who believe that corporate behaviour will influence financial performance.

Does that just make financial analysts a tough crowd or are there still strong doubts about the putative causal relationship between poor corporate performance and weak social conduct? 

Ronald Bryden - An Appreciation (6)

Ronald Bryden - An Appreciation (5)