Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consumer responses to Gulf oil spill reflect Americans' changing corporate expectations

Date:
June 16, 2010
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
The rigorous survey-based nationwide study of US adults aware of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents strongly agree that the spill shows that businesses need to be more socially responsible and they agree that socially responsible corporations can also create a lot of wealth for their shareholders.

Just as President Barack Obama called for in his address to the nation last night, Americans are demanding that BP and all other companies be responsible to both their shareholders and society, according to a new report from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business.

The rigorous survey-based nationwide study of U.S. adults aware of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents strongly agree that the spill shows that businesses need to be more socially responsible and they agree that socially responsible corporations can also create a lot of wealth for their shareholders.

"Over the years, there has been a core shift in the American public's expectations," said Vikas Mittal, professor of marketing at the Jones School. "The old idea was that businesses were only responsible to their shareholders. But now people are realizing that this isn't a zero-sum game. No matter their political leanings, Americans expect corporations to be profitable, sustainable and socially responsible."

Mittal and his co-author, Rajan Sambandam from the market research company TRC, surveyed a national sample of 522 adults using a scale where zero indicated complete disagreement and 10 indicated complete agreement. On the 0-to-10 scale, Republicans with an average rating of 7.9, Independents (8.3) and Democrats (8.3) agreed that "socially responsible corporations can also create a lot of wealth for their shareholders." Independents (9.0) and Democrats (8.7) agreed somewhat more than Republicans (8.0) that "corporate social responsibility is just as important as corporate shareholder responsibility."

Even given the current spill, Americans aren't ready for government to completely ban offshore drilling, according to the study. When asked whether the oil spill made them more likely to support a ban on offshore drilling, Republican ratings averaged 3.3, Democrats 5.8 and Independents 5.3 in support of a ban.

Republicans disagreed sharply with Independents and Democrats on issues concerning offshore drilling. On the 0-to-10 scale, Republicans more strongly agreed that:

  • The government should allow offshore exploration (7.8).
  • Offshore drilling is critical for America to maintain its competitiveness (8.2).

"People are recognizing business is a key driver of economic and societal progress," Mittal said. "They understand the best way is not to block the economic process of running a business, but to expect companies and their CEOs to create shareholder wealth while being socially responsible."

Mittal noted that business executives are realizing the changing expectations. He cited a 2010 study that showed 60 percent of business executives consider sustainability issues to be very or extremely important in their overall corporate strategy.

"I expect this proportion to only grow in the coming future," he said. "However, I concur with the public's general view that populist government interventions that block progress are unlikely to solve complex issues facing societies -- of which public, business and government are co-equal key stakeholders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Consumer responses to Gulf oil spill reflect Americans' changing corporate expectations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616122132.htm>.
Rice University. (2010, June 16). Consumer responses to Gulf oil spill reflect Americans' changing corporate expectations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616122132.htm
Rice University. "Consumer responses to Gulf oil spill reflect Americans' changing corporate expectations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616122132.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins