In conjunction with Loughborough University Business School, Management Today approached Britain's 10 largest companies in 26 industrial sectors and asked their chairmen, managing directors and selected main board directors to evaluate their peers.
Participants were asked to rate each company in their sectors (excluding themselves) on a scale of zero (poor) to 10 (excellent) for their performance in nine criteria: quality of management; financial soundness; ability to attract, develop and retain top talent; quality of products/services; value as a long-term investment; capacity to innovate; quality of marketing; community and environmental responsibility and use of corporate assets. Analysts at 10 leading investment companies were also polled. 59% of the companies and 80% of the analysts approached responded.
On the basis of the individual scores assigned to a company for each of the nine characteristics, three separate analyses were produced: a ranking of the 10 companies in each sector; a list of all 260 companies, from which the overall 'most admired' are drawn; and the top 10 companies for each characteristic.