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Institute of Business Ethics says boards should pay more attention to corporate culture

A survey report from the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has found that although boards discuss culture and relevant information, they should pay more attention to customer satisfaction and supply chains when they assess corporate culture.

The survey looked at information boards currently receive, how it is considered, and reported, in addition to interviews with directors and their advisors. The survey report Culture Indicators: understanding corporate behaviour found that most boards do not focus on issues that would provide insights on culture, customer complaints, supply chains, and social media. However, the results found that a lot of relevant information about culture is discussed.

Of respondents, 82% said their boards monitor culture related data, but 40% do not receive customer satisfaction information, and 20% receive supply chain relationship data. The report suggested that boards should select critical indicators based on the expectations of their stakeholders and use a variety of information sources to draw their data, including HR, internal audit, and compliance. Further, boards need to test how culture is embedded within the organisation.

IBE’s associate director and author of the report Peter Montagnon said: “A company whose staff, suppliers and customers are all broadly happy is likely to have a robust culture. But if even if only one of these groups is unhappy, the risk of ethical problems is high.”

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