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Societal purpose key for success say ME managers

Beirut, January 24, 2012

Seventy-five per cent of executives in the Middle East see societal purpose as essential for future success, while 66 per cent said it was essential for attracting the next generation of customers and employees, in a major survey.

This group also feels more strongly than US and European CEO’s about the importance of societal purpose to future success, and the role of governments as leading the way in addressing society’s challenges, according to a poll sponsored by Deloitte and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

At the World Economic Forum 2012, Deloitte will share the results of a global survey exploring business leaders' attitudes on the purpose, impact, and leadership of business on society.

The global survey also found that more than three quarters of the respondents (76 per cent) believe that the value of a company should be measured by the positive contribution its core business makes to society, as well as by its profits.

Furthermore, of the leaders surveyed, 73 per cent believe that their core business activities make a positive contribution to society.

“This survey sparks an important dialogue about the role of business in building a better society,” said Omar Fahoum, Deloitte Middle East chairman, and chief executive.

“Within the Deloitte network, we believe there is opportunity for this ‘societal purpose’ to be integrated into a business’s core activities, decisions, and identity. It is through this embedded purpose, in turn, that businesses can inspire positive economic, environmental, and social change.”

The study showed that while 82 per cent of business leaders surveyed said their organisation had a formal statement detailing its “societal purpose,” and 52 per cent said that this formal statement of purpose was essential for attracting the next generation of customers and employees, only 25 per cent thought that this purpose was well known by their customers, consumers, or clients.

This suggests that businesses can do a better job of communicating the contribution and impact that their core activities have on society.

Alongside the EIU survey, Deloitte examined the opinions of more than 1,000 Deloitte member firm Millennials (employees joining the organization who were born after 1981) on their views regarding the impact business has on society.

More than half (52 per cent) believe that in the future, business, more than any other area of society, will achieve the greatest impact in solving society’s biggest challenges.

Furthermore, 92 per cent of the respondents believe that the success of a business should be measured by more than just profit, suggesting that a company’s “societal purpose” is a key priority and expectation of the Millennial generation.

“CEOs’ voices are being joined by an emerging generation of future business leaders who see personal responsibility, corporate responsibility, and societal responsibility as one continuous line,” said Rana Ghandour Salhab, regional Talent and Communications partner, Deloitte Middle East.

“There’s a real appetite for new ideas, original insights, and spirited debate, and with this research, we are engaging today’s business leaders to examine the purpose, impact, and leadership expected of business in society.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Middle East | Survey | Executives | Deloitte | Societal purpose | Millennials |

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