Reputational risk key for GCC executives

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MIDDLE EAST - A survey of senior Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) executives, conducted by ReputationInc, has revealed that 32% of respondents rank reputation has the most important business risk.

The responses, from 185 executives at chairman, chief executive and director level in the GCC area, demonstrate an increasing understanding of the importance of reputation in business. They recognise that most organisations are able to manage legal, operational and financial risks. The survey found that reputational risk is less easy to manage, and has the potential to be the most damaging.

The survey asked respondents to rank risk areas in terms of their potential effect on their organisation. Reputational risk gained 32% of the vote, ahead of operational risk (26%) and financial risk (21%).

Respondents mentioned that they make use of various risk management techniques, the most prevalent noted being contingency planning and the use of external consultants, but none measure or manage reputation.

The majority of the respondents also stated that they believed a favourable reputation enhanced business success, and half viewed a favourable reputation as an indicator of trustworthiness, which makes it easier for organisations to attract and retain stakeholders such as customers and employees. A majority of respondents said having a positive reputation leads to improvements on the bottom line, and enhances clients' willingness to approve premium pricing.

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