by Kim S. Nash

Public Expects Companies to Take More Social Responsibility Say CEOs

Oct 26, 20071 min
IT Leadership

McKinsey & Co. survey of nearly 400 CEOs says the public is demanding more social accountability by corporations.


That’s the percentage of CEOs who say society wants companies to take on greater public responsibility than five years ago, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey of 391 CEOs (PDF format) at companies in 23 industries on six continents.

The public, McKinsey found, wants companies to be involved in such causes as keeping the food supply safe and increasing the healthfulness of food, building in ways that are environmentally sustainable and helping curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

It all boils down to trust. Customers increasingly say they need to trust a company before buying products and services, McKinsey says. Companies, therefore, needs to grow and keep their reputation as trustworthy.

IT leaders can either help that cause or blow it: TJX’s stolen customer credit card data, Gap’s breach of personal data on 800,000 job applicants, and TD Ameritrade’s hacked database of information on 6.3 million customers all show the downside of a tarnished reputation.

Your company can be curing AIDS, stopping child labor, inventing the world’s first no-emissions vehicle and all sorts of other noble things. But if you expose your customers’ information, if you don’t protect it, there goes your image.