Corporate behaviour is a larger concern for Australians than human rights issues and homelessness, according to new research.
The Australian Business Purpose Study asked respondents to rank 51 issues of concern. The rankings placed personal finance as the highest, followed by health and safety with corporate behaviour in third.
For those on a high income of $200k or more corporate behaviour was the largest concern, according to the study from business consultants SHIFT and research firm AMR.
Iain Good, SHIFT’s managing director, said the research reveals the impact corporate behaviour has on consumers’ willingness to buy particular products.
“Companies need to have a clear purpose and demonstrate consistently transparent and open dealings with its employees in order to appeal to the broader public,” Good said.
“It used to be that telling people you were a doctor or a lawyer – or some other accomplished profession was the gotcha sentence at a BBQ.
“Now it’s where you work and what the company stands for and actually delivers; in other words, how it behaves.”
If price and product are on par purchasing decisions are driven by a company’s truthfulness, its commitment to delivering what it promises, behaving ethically, living up to its values and beliefs and always doing the right thing.
The previous factors were described as “crucial” by the study’s respondents.
As well as corporate behaviour, the treatment of employees, behaving ethically, acting for the good of the country and putting people and the planet before profits all ranked within the top 20 issues.
The study surveyed 1,201 Australians, aged 18 to 64, in September this year.