Corporate Eye

Best Corporate Reputations

There is no shortage of lists for Best Companies — Best Companies For Working Mothers, Employees, Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Responsibility and on. I’ve followed these lists since they give you a peek into what is going on in the companies on the lists. They provide a cheap method for competitive intelligence.

Then I started to think about which of these lists are themselves “the best”. After some reflection, I decided to take a closer look at Corporate Reputation ratings —

“Corporate reputation should be considered as much more than simply a brand emblem in the marketplace. Rather, it is a window to the fundamental character of a company and its leaders and as such is relevant to all stakeholders…” Harvard Professor Stephen Greyser

Corporate Reputation Ratings




Reputation Institute ‘most visible companies’*
  • Products & Services
  • Innovation
  • Workplace
  • Governance
  • Citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Performance
Harris Annual RQ 60 Most Visible Companies*
  • Products & Services
  • Financial Performance
  • Workplace Environment
  • Social Responsibility
  • Vision & Leadership
  • Emotional Appeal
Fortune – Most admired Fortune 1000, Global 500
  • Innovation
  • People management
  • Use of corporate assets
  • Social responsibility
  • Quality of management
  • Financial soundness
  • Long-term investment
  • Quality of products/services

* AKA Big Companies

Now let’s look at the top 5 companies for each index.

Reputation Institute

Harris Annual RQ Fortune – Most admired
Toyota Motor Google Apple
Google Johnson & Johnson Berkshire Hathaway
IKEA Intel General Electric
Johnson & Johnson General Mills Google
Tata Group Kraft Foods Toyota Motor

Kudos to Google, Toyota and Johnson & Johnson. They all appear on at least two of the indices.

All three Corporate Reputation ratings are comprehensive in terms of measures that comprise their indices. These are perhaps the most in-depth assessments of corporate practices. In addition, they measure the companies impact on most stakeholder groups. My only concern is that the focus is on large companies. Too bad because smaller companies are often more agile in applying innovative business practices.

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Ed Konczal has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business (with distinction). He has spent the last 10 years as an executive consultant focusing on human resources, leadership, market research, and business planning. Ed has over 10 years of top-level experience from AT&T in the areas of new ventures and business planning. He is co-author of the book "Simple Stories for Leadership Insight," published by University Press of America.