Google scores high in corporate reputation
According to reputation management specialist Harris Interactive, its "2011 Interactive RQ Study" which polled 30,000 employees online ranked the reputations of 60 most visible corporations across 17 industries.
Google emerged first primarily because of its financial performance, workplace environment and public admiration for its employees. Nevertheless, its stellar ranking raised eyebrows as the company had had to endure criticism over privacy issues shortly after the survey was conducted. According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant had allegedly created software that recorded data about its users' locations.
However, even without these privacy controversies, Google had scored poorly for trust, admiration and respect on the Harris study.
Apart from Google, Johnson & Johnson, St Paul, 3M, Berkshire Hathaway and Apple rounded up this year's top five firms respectively.
Financial services firms and oil companies remain at the bottom of the pile. American International Group, the infamous insurer rescued by US Federal bailouts, came in last. BP is 59th with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup filling the remaining two slots in the bottom four. These companies were rated lowest on characteristics such as "being trusted to do the right thing" and "having high ethical standards".
But according to Robert Fronk, global practice lead of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, there is much to be optimistic about. Although 44% believe the image of corporate America is still on the decline and 77% rated corporate reputations as "not good" or "terrible", these statistics are "down drastically".
Some 16 companies received an RQ score over 80, which is equivalent to an "excellent" reputation. Three-quarters view the technology sector favourably, followed by the retail industry at 57% as evident by newcomer Facebook to the list, debuting at 31st with a RQ score of 74.12.
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