Make no mistake, it really does matter what other people think about you - being popular may not be the most important thing in the world but it's certainly up there in the top five. Of course, this is as true in business as anywhere else and, naturally, the opinions that matter most of all are those of your peers. To this end, in our December issue, Management Today will be publishing Britain's Most Admired Companies, our annual survey of corporate reputation.
The survey, now in its seventh year, is produced for Management Today by a team drawn from Nottingham Business School and Loughborough University Business School. It takes as its premise that those best placed to judge a company's relative strengths and weaknesses is the senior management of its immediate peers - those who know the industry inside out and who will score a business on how well it's really doing, not how well oiled its public relations machinery is. The survey covers 260 companies - Britain's 10 largest quoted companies in 26 industrial sectors by market capitalisation on 1 April this year. Seven respondents were chosen from each company - the chairman, managing director and the principal directors responsible for finance, marketing, operations, personnel and R&D. And to provide a further level of expertise, sector analysts at 10 leading investment companies were also polled.
Participants were asked to rate each company in their sector (their own excepted) on a scale of one to 10 for their performance in one of nine key characteristics, ranging from quality of management, to value as a long-term investment, to community and environmental responsibility.