Governance Research Digest – March 2012
This new IBE Briefing provides an overview of major ethical concerns and lapses, as recorded in the IBE’s weekly media monitoring in 2010 and 2011. The news stories involve UK companies or multinationals with a UK presence.
- The IBE media monitoring reported 928 cases of ethical lapses in 2010 and 2011.
- Finance (includes insurance companies) received by far the most news coverage (295 news stories).
- This is consistent with previous years.
- Retail was the next most reported on sector in the media, closely followed by the technology (includes IT companies) and extractive (oil, gas, metal and mining) sectors.
- The tobacco, chemicals, construction and property sectors were least mentioned in the news.
- The most commonly reported on ethical issue was bribery, corruption and fraud, followed by executive remuneration, corporate governance and fair competition.
- News items reporting on whistleblowing/speaking up, lobbying/donations, discrimination, and human rights were less common.
- There were some notable differences in reporting on concerns and ethical lapses in 2011 compared with 2010.
- The number of news stories involving the extractive sector almost doubled.
- Conversely coverage on utilities companies decreased by two thirds, and in the food and drink sector, by more than half.
- In terms of ethical issues, the number of cases involving corporate governance issues more than trebled from 2010 to 2011.
- Similarly, reporting on incidents of bribery, corruption and fraud almost doubled over this period.
- It is worth noting that in 2010 there were 87 cases relating to executive remuneration but this dropped to 33 in 2011.
- Only 3 of the 27 new stories on lapses in product safety and only 1 of 12 reports on lobbying/donations occurred in 2011.
- The number of news stories on marketing/advertising and on supply chain/procurement issues fell by more than half from 2010 to 2011.