Vol. 1 No. 2 – March 2010

Bad Business–CR’s Black List

The lack of transparency within Russell 1000 companies

By Dirk Olin and Mark Bateman

Frequenting the retail clothier Abercrombie & Fitch requires an act of faith. The shopper is greeted at the entrance by dark shutters and no windows. This signals an exclusive club, rather than a place to buy a polo shirt. But while the air of mystery might succeed in enticing a mall customer, that darkness on the edge of commerce is more disturbing in the realm of corporate governance. Abercrombie & Fitch has the dubious distinction of joining 29 other companies on CR Magazine’s “Black List” as examples of companies for whom zero points of relevant data can be found to compare its transparency to that of its colleagues on the Russell 1000 list of large-cap firms.

If the behavior of companies matters to the public, then access to information about their behavior matters too.

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CR: How Fast It’s Growing, How Much It’s Spending, And How Far It’s Going

An unprecedented gauge of the market, with NYSE Euronext.

By Dirk Olin and Jay Whitehead

The road to the partnership between CR Magazine and NYSE Euronext began in the Spring of 2009, just after the magazine’s team rang the closing bell at another stock exchange. The Big Board, which listed more than 85 percent of the companies on the magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens List,” at the time had planted its own CR flag. And NYSE, like many of its listed companies, was pining for the establishment of empirically defensible benchmarks for CR best practices over and above the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List.” Sure, NYSE noted, the “100 Best List” provides high-quality and transparent quantitative guidance.  But what about the qualitative factors? After all, the practice of corporate responsibility is as much about the soft skills as it is about the numbers.

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The Nine

Using the established customer satisfaction methodology from CR Magazine’s last issue and adapted from CR Magazine’s sister publications, we identified the top players in the Environment and Energy Technology space, using data and feedback from customers.

By Elliot Clark

Ranking technologies in the CR domain is a new practice. In other technology segments, you have your Gartner Magic Quadrants and analyst reports galore. But in the very new field of Environment and Energy Technology, CR’s Top Ten ranking is the first customer-based ranking we know of.

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Top Trends for CR in 2010

The buzz we are hearing.

By Jay Whitehead

If there is any single question we at CR Magazine get asked the most, it’s what is coming around the corner. The truth is that we have no crystal ball. But because we get the question a lot, we spend more time than anyone else asking around. Then we write down what we hear. And we report it to you. Here are today’s nine most-anticipated CR trends, and why you should care.

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You Are What You Buy

Doing well by buying goods is a message we send to each other, and ourselves.

By Aronté Bennett* and Amitav Chakravarti

Consumers frequently encounter, and buy, products that have a corporate responsibility (CR) association. Cell phones whose manufacturers donate a portion of proceeds to cancer research would be one example. It is well documented that products with a CR-association are extremely popular among consumers, and consumers are sometimes even be willing to pay a premium for these products. However, the research on CR-associated purchase decisions—such as a signature study detailed by Tom Brown and Peter Dacin in a 1997 issue of the  Journal of Marketing—has focused on antecedents that influence evaluations and purchase decisions.

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