When it comes to expectations of what the key responsibilities are of companies, the top two most important roles are the same in the eyes of global as well as Asia Pacific consumers. However, Asian consumers have a slightly stronger opinion about companies protecting the health and safety of their workers.
The following are the findings from a GfK survey that asked over 27,000 internet users across 22 countries to choose the three most important company responsibilities from a list that ranged from advertising honestly, to helping to educate people, as well as providing a good return for stakeholders. The five Asia Pacific markets included in the survey were Australia, China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong.
The top responsibility agreed by global and Asian consumers—providing good jobs for people – did not make it to the top three list in China. In fact, Chinese consumers are most concerned that companies protect the health and safety of workers and are environmentally friendly (both 47 percent), followed by producing good quality products and services (44 percent).
In Korea, more than half of the consumers surveyed (55 percent)—a significantly higher level than the global average (47 percent)—believe that the most important responsibility of a company is to provide good jobs for people. Next on their list are charging reasonable prices for products and services and producing good quality products and services (both 42 percent).
China and Hong Kong have the second and third highest levels of people globally who see protecting the health and safety of its workers as one of the top three most important responsibilities for any company (47 percent and 46 percent respectively).
Another finding is that paying a fair share of taxes garnered more votes in some Asian countries, compared to the global average of 19 percent. Even though this is not in the overall top three list, it was selected by around a third of the online population in Korea and Australia (34 percent and 31 percent, respectively).
“As is evident from this study, consumers from different countries have different perceptions and expectations for what constitutes a responsible corporation in their country,” said Michael Mueller, APAC COO for GfK. “The findings are essential for companies to ensure that they invest their corporate social responsibility (CSR) budget on the areas that actually matter most to the consumers in each specific market,” he concluded.