Most of the world’s most-engaged citizens say large companies have too much influence on government decisions and want aggressive action against the activities and influence of national and multinational corporations, according to a new Ipsos survey.
The poll of 22,000 people, covering 22 of the world’s leading and burgeoning powerhouse economies, indicates that public opinion among the most active, connected and engaged global citizens is putting global and national corporations at risk of government intervention and tighter regulation.
Below, key findings of the IpsosÂ poll.
Three-fourths (74%) say large companies have too much influence on decisions of their government:
- Three quarters (74%) of the “intelligaged” citizens throughout the 22 countries surveyed agree that large companies have “too much influence on the decisions” of their government, compared with just 26% who disagree.
- Of the various block regions around the world, Latin American intelligaged citizens (83% versus 17%) are the most likely to agree with this proposition, compared with North Americans (81% versus 19%), Europeans (73% versus 27%) and those in the Asia-Pacific block (70% versus 30%).
Almost as many (72%) say their government should be more aggressive in regulating activities of national and multinational corporations:
- A full majority (72%) of the intelligaged citizens surveyed say the government of their country “should be more aggressive in regulating the activities of national and multinational corporations”. That compares with 28% who take the contrary point of view.
- Of the various block regions around the world, those intelligaged citizens in Latin American block (86% versus 14%) are more likely than those in the three other block regions to say so: North America (72% versus 28%), Europe (71% versus 29%) and Asia-Pacific (67% versus 33%).
Majority (69%) say large companies are more powerful than governments:
- Seven in 10 (69%) of the intelligaged citizens surveyed agree that “large companies are more powerful than governments” (versus 31% who do not).
- Of the various block regions around the world, intelligaged citizens in the Latin American block (76% versus 24%) are slightly more likely than those in Europe (74% versus 26%) and North America (73% versus 27%) to say so, compared with the Asia Pacific block at 58% versus 42%.
Majority (58%) believe government should have complete access to private information of corporations doing business in their country:
- Six in 10 (58%) of the intelligaged citizens agree that “government should have complete access to the private information of corporations doing business in” their country. This compares with 42% who take the contrary point of view.
- Intelligaged citizens in Latin America (68% versus 32%), Asia-Pacific (62% versus 38%) and North America (60% versus 40%) are more likely than those in Europe (53% versus 47%) to believe that their government should have “complete access to the private information of corporations doing business” in their country.
Half (52%) say their big industry should be controlled by government, other half (48%) disagree:
- Intelligaged citizens in North America are most likely to disagree (68% versus 32%) with the perspective that it is in their country’s interest that their “big industries should be controlled by the government.”
- That compares with other blocks, where opinion is split: in Latin America, 50% agree and 50% disagree; in Europe, 48% agree and 52% disagree; and in the Asia-Pacific region 52% agree and 40% disagree.
Majority (52%) say government regulation is too little to protect rights of workers in their country:
- Most of those surveyed (52%) agree that there is “too little government regulation to protect the rights of workers in their country,” compared with 20% who indicate that there is “too much government regulation”, and three in 10 (28%) of those surveyed who believe that the government regulation they have to protect workers rights is “about right.”
- Latin Americans (68%) are most likely to believe that there is too little government regulation in their country for the protection of the rights of workers, followed by Europeans (51%) and those in the Asia-Pacific (51%) countries. Least supporting this perspective are those in North America (42%).
- Among those who are more likely to believe that there is too much government regulation in their country for the protection of the rights of workers, the Asia-Pacific (24%) region ranks first, followed by Europe (19%), North America (18%) and Latin America (14%).
- Among those who are more likely to believe that the amount of government regulation they have in their country for the protection of the rights of workers is “about right,” North America (40%) leads Europe (30%), Asia-Pacific (25%) and Latin America (18%) regions.
Nevertheless, most (55%) believe that major corporations are having a good influence in their country:
- Despite all the concerns, 55% of the intelligaged citizens surveyed in the 22 nations indicate that major corporations are a “good” influence in their country versus 45% who indicate that their influence is “bad.”
- Those who have the most positive perspective on the influence of corporations on the way things are going in their country are those in the Asia-Pacific region (67% “good influence” compared with 33% “bad influence”) and Latin America (56% “good influence” compared with 44% “bad influence”).
- The region with the most negative perspective on the influence of corporations on the way things are going in their country is North America (56% “bad influence” compared with 44% “good influence”).
- The region that is split in opinion as to the influence of corporations on how things are going in their country is Europe, where 51% say corporations are having a “bad influence” compared with 49% who say corporations are having a “good influence”.
About the survey: The survey audience – the Intelligaged global population – is the most involved and influential population per country: a total of 100% are online, 68% voted in the last election they were eligible to do so, half have instigated political, economic and social discussions, and 37% have signed a petition within the past year. On the consumer behavior side, half (47%) chose to buy a product or service because of a company’s ethical, social or environmental reputation and one third (33%) advised others against using a specific company or service for the same reason.
The Ipsos Global@dvisor-Reputation Risk Identifier is a bi-annual survey specifically constructed to understand the reputation risk environment critical to protecting the goodwill and equity – both financial and public – of corporate brands and operations. The field window was Oct 18th through Oct 31st, 2007. It surveyed over 22,000 “broad elites, Internet Intelligaged, and digital information opinion leaders about corporate, social & political, foreign investment, expansion, the environment, and other critical business risk affecting the business landscape,” via 1,000 interviews each in 22 countries across the Ipsos global online panel access network.