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Business Reputation Ratings

Post Enron and HIH we see an upsurge in activity focusing on ethics and social responsibility in business. Last week saw the high profile rejection by shareholders of increased executive payouts to the sons of Murdoch at News Corp. The week also saw the release of the 2003 ratings by Reputation Measurement Pty Ltd (www.reputex.com.au) of companies listed in the BRW 1000. Ratings are in the four categories of Corporate Governance, Environmental Impact, Social Impact and Work Place Practices. Top three companies in the aggregate of these ratings are Westpac, IBM and Energex.

Deirdre Macken writing in today's Financial Review, questions the merits of attempting to measure human behaviour saying "Why should we expect social accounting the be anything but an imperfect measure of a fabulously imperfect world."

But perhaps we need to go through a quantitative assessment of life to restore acceptance of public perceptions of what is the behaviours of a "gentlemen" and a "lady" and the business practices of a "prudent person". The age of unisex workplaces and political correctness have obliterated these notions from younger generations' perceptions. Once re-established, it would then be possible to abolish many pages of legislation which attempt to leverage power structures off elite classifications of behaviour.

Posted Saturday, 18 October 2003

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