NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- JUST Capital, a new independent non-profit organization, today announced the results of its inaugural survey on attitudes of Americans towards corporate behavior. Although a wide range of issues were identified as important, employee pay, benefits, satisfaction and fair hiring practices were consistently judged to be the top priorities.
JUST Capital's research is believed to be one of the largest initiatives of its kind ever completed, encompassing over 40,000 Americans around the country from all walks of life.
The results point to a strong alignment among all people on how just business behavior is defined, regardless of age, economic status, ethnicity or geographic location.
"People have been saying for years that there's a huge disconnect between the corporate leadership and Main Street, but solutions have been hard to find," said Paul Tudor Jones II, who chairs Just Capital's board and who co-founded the organization with Deepak Chopra, Arianna Huffington and others in 2014. "We started JUST Capital because we believe that when companies understand what their employees, customers and investors want, corporate behavior will change. If we can shift just 1% of capital flows onto a more just pathway, that equates to well over half a trillion dollars of impact."
Similar research will be conducted annually, and used by JUST Capital to rank the largest publicly-traded companies against the public's definition of justness. A "JUST 100" will be created that identifies America's 100 most just companies, as well as an index for tracking performance.
"For the first time, we are giving people a voice on the kind of marketplace they want to have." explains Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital. "By changing the way business and the public interact, we're trying using the power of the markets to address the things that we care most about as a nation. "
A resounding 91% of respondents said it is important to measure just corporate behavior, with a large majority also stating they would change their behavior in seeking employment, buying products, and investing in companies based on a greater understanding of how just a company is. The research results also indicate that although trust in corporations remains low, with over half of those polled believing corporate behavior is headed in the wrong direction, most Americans are willing to give companies credit for working to improve and believe that what is good for business is also good for the country.
After employee-related factors, the public identified product benefit or harm, protecting human rights, governance and financial integrity, environmental impact, customer service and value, community relations and charitable giving, corporate ethics and honesty, and US employment impact as the defining attributes of corporate justness.
The results across the phases of research also revealed that:
- On the issue of fair pay, the vast majority of Americans think that paying very low wages can never be justified by corporations even if it allows them to provide products or services at very low prices.
- Regardless of political ideology, Americans feel corporations have greater obligations to employees, the environment, customers and communities than the corporations themselves are currently meeting.
- When it comes to positively influencing the public's view of corporate justness, the more powerful performance factors are providing good benefits, being fair in compensation and hiring practices, and corporate ethics and honesty; conversely, performing poorly on consumer safety matters and human rights issues has by the far greatest potential to negatively influence perceptions of justness.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
Conducted between February and September 2015 and involving over 43,000 respondents, the JUST Capital survey encompassed a five-phase approach involving qualitative focus groups, one-on-one telephone interviews, an online discussion forum, and four large-scale online surveys, balanced to census categories. The techniques deployed include the use of Discrete Choice Modeling, an approach that attempts to reflect the real-world trade offs and actual preferences of respondents, and enables the establishment of factor utility curves that capture how changes in corporate performance on key issues affects respondent perspectives.
Details on the methodology and findings can be found at www.justcapital.com/research.
ABOUT JUST CAPITAL
Founded with the support of concerned business and economic leaders, JUST Capital is an independent, unaligned, not-for-profit research organization. For more information, visit www.justcapital.com.
Mitchell Schwenz / Leah Nelson
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SOURCE JUST Capital