Tuesday, 21 February 2017 09:06

Samsung takes big hit to reputation in US: survey Featured

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Samsung has taken a big hit to its reputation, falling to the 49th position in the 2017 reputation quotient ratings issued by Harris Poll. In 2016, the company enjoyed the seventh position.

It was listed as one of five companies to suffer a significant decline in its reputation in 2017 since the last set of ratings in 2016.

Samsung was one of five companies to suffer a big decline, along with Wells Fargo, Procter & Gamble, Chipotle, and Bank of America. Its dramatic fall was said to be due to its "recent product safety challenges, particularly around social responsibility".

The incidents referred to are that of the Samsung Galaxy Note7, the production of which was halted after it started spontaneously catching fire, and the recall of Samsung washing machines.

The Harris ratings have been issued for the last 18 years and list the reputations of the 100 most visible companies in the US.

(As iTWire is a technology publication, this article will limit itself to the technology companies in the list.)

harris poll

Graphic courtesy: Harris Poll

This year's ratings were compiled after an online survey of 30,519 US adults and obtained an average of roughly 300 ratings per company. The survey was carried out between 28 November and 16 December 2016.

Amazon.com was the top-ranked company in 2017, having earned the same spot in 2016 too. Apple dropped to fifth spot, having enjoyed the second place in 2016.

Google also fell, from third in 2016 to eighth in this year's rankings. The other tech-related company in the top 10 for 2017 was Tesla Motors (ninth); it did not figure in the 2016 list at all.

Microsoft was 20th in the 2017 rankings (20th in 2016), HP took 29th spot (54th), IBM stood 40th (40th), eBay 41st (31st), Sony 42nd (27th), Dell 60th (56th), Facebook 66th (60th), T-Mobile 69th (73rd), Verizon 71st (67th), Yahoo! 72nd, AT&T 75th (69th), Dish Network 86th (93rd), and Time Warner 88th (88th).

Seventeen companies earned RQ scores of 80 in 2017, which is graded as an excellent score. Scores of 50 to 54.9 are rated very poor and a critical score is anything below 50.

Among tech companies those getting an excellent grade this year were Amazon.com, Apple, Google, and Tesla.

Six dimensions of reputation are used to grade companies: social responsibility, emotional appeal, products and services, vision and leadership, financial performance and workplace environment. Amazon.com was the only technology company to figure among the top five in all these dimensions.

Harris Polls asks two questions in its poll:

Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO — in your opinion — stand out as having the BEST reputations overall?

Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO — in your opinion — stand out as having the WORST reputations overall?

Public perceptions across 20 attributes, classified into six dimensions of corporate reputation, are used to allocate scores for each company that figures in the top 100.

There are numerous other statistics in the report which can be downloaded free here after registration.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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