/amo’s Annual Global Corporate Values Study Shows Increased Emphasis on Innovation, Stakeholders and the Environment

·4 min read
  • Survey reviews stated values of 455 listed companies across 19 national markets

  • "Innovation" Is now the most frequently cited corporate value globally

  • Sharp increase in values citing customers and employees

  • Respect for science and for long-term & global thinking is also up

PARIS & LONDON & NEW YORK, May 25, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The /amo network’s latest annual review of corporate values highlights a growing emphasis on innovation, creativity and a greater respect for stakeholders among the world’s largest listed companies.

The "Values Most Valued" survey, published today by the /amo network, a leading global organization of strategic communications advisors, compares how corporate values have evolved over the last year by examining annual reports and websites of 455 listed companies across 19 markets.

Some of the key findings highlighted in the report included:

  1. Creativity and innovation are more highly prized than ever. Faced with a daunting range of new challenges - including pandemics, supply chain issues, inflation, war and climate change - companies are keen to be perceived as creative thinkers. "Innovation" (and variations on the word) was the most popular single value cited in our survey, up from second place last year, claimed by 33% of companies (vs 29% in 2021). As a category, values relating to creativity received especially high recognition in the US, China and numerous European countries, but was relatively seldom cited in Austria, the Netherlands, Indonesia or Malaysia.

  2. Relations with stakeholders are increasingly important. There has been a marked shift over the last year towards expressions of respect and responsibility towards key stakeholders, notably employees (up 27%) and clients (up 32%). More broadly, concern for the environment rose sharply (up 37%). However, there were some wide and disparate geographic variations in this broad pattern. For example, the number of Chinese companies citing a broad sense of social responsibility towards people and communities was sharply up over the year. In the UK, too, there was a strong increase in the number of companies evoking such broad social values. However, in the US, there was a marked shift away from the generic towards a sharper focus on identified stakeholders, notably employees and partners.

  3. Integrity remains a popular single value, cited (in various forms) by 32% of companies as a corporate value, in line with last year. However, the range of values classified within the broader category of ethics slipped slightly, only quoted by 43% of the companies surveyed this year, down from 46% the previous year. This category was once again most popular in the US, UK, southern Europe and China. However, in four European markets – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands – relatively few companies claimed ethics as a value, perhaps on the assumption that honesty and integrity are non-negotiable pre-requisites.

  4. Values related to long-term and global thinking, as well as to science and technology, were sharply higher this year. Although these categories ranked relatively low in popularity among global companies, they both witnessed a significant increase in number of mentions. Only 10% of companies referred to long-term global thinking, but that represented twice as many as the previous year. Science and technology were mentioned by just 6.4% of companies, although the category showed the second steepest increase, up 45%.

Stéphane Fouks, Executive Chairman of /amo, said: "For more than 20 years, the /amo network has worked hand-in-hand with our clients to build and protect their reputations, always keenly aware of the tension between how a company sees itself and how it is perceived from outside. The findings of our annual global survey of corporate values this year are especially telling. Faced with multiple challenges on so many fronts, companies are more aware than ever of their responsibilities to others and to the planet. Another heartening shift this year is the growing emphasis on creative thinking. We should applaud the fact that the world’s biggest companies are willing to reassess their values, and set them out in public for the world to hold them accountable to the standards they set themselves."

Charles Fleming, /amo’s chief marketing officer and partner at Havas Paris/amo, who compiled the report, said: "The /amo annual corporate values survey serves as a useful benchmark of how corporations across different countries and industries, are seeking to project themselves today. In addition, the "taxonomy of values," which we have compiled to help analyze this wealth of data, provides a unique set of guidelines to help communications professionals better identify and express their company’s set of core values."

To carry out its global review of corporate values, /amo asked its consultants to closely examine annual reports published in the last two years by the largest listed companies in 19 markets. The resulting study turned up a total of over 2,500 individual corporate values cited in all, an average of 5.5 values per company. These numerous individual values were then classified into a restricted number of broad categories (known as /amo’s "taxonomy of values"), to allow a more meaningful analysis of the results.

The variations in the survey’s results year by year are partly accounted for by companies adjusting their own corporate values. In addition, there is a degree of rotation within the universe of companies reviewed because, for each year, the survey focuses on only the largest companies by market cap as of 1st January. Given the volatility of some market sectors, this means that the companies reviewed were not exactly the same between the two years. Within the 455 largest listed companies surveyed this year, a total 55 (or 12%) were newcomers to the list. The change in the popularity of certain corporate values from one year to the next therefore also reflects broader stock market trends and investor focus.

For the full results of the /amo global corporate values report, click here

About /amo

The /amo network is the leading international network of strategic communications consultancies, providing best-in-class financial communications counsel for corporations and institutions in the most important markets around the globe. We offer a full range of services to our clients, including: transactions, transformation, engagement and responsibility, crisis, and public affairs. We are unique among international networks because we are founded on the strength of a partnership between national local agencies, each best-in-class in their markets, that has produced meaningful results for its clients for 19 years. The network was founded in 2001 by three like-minded corporate and financial PR agencies in London, New York and Paris, all owned by the Havas Group. The /amo network is backed by Havas, one of the world’s largest global communications groups, founded in 1835 in Paris and today part of the Vivendi group.


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Charles Fleming, CMO of the /amo network
charles.fleming@havas.com, + 33 6 14 45 05 22