Image Profiles (Imageprofile) 2014
The ranking “Image Profiles” appears every two years in the German business publication manager magazin. The results are based on a survey among 3,089 senior managers in Germany who evaluated 181 of the largest corporations operating in Germany on a scale from 0 (very poor) to 10 (excellent) in 7 reputation dimensions (ranging from management quality over financial soundness to sustainability), although only the results of 5 reputation dimensions are revealed! The survey was conducted by Humboldt University Berlin between September and November 2013, and the results are published in a cross-industry table (comprising 181 companies) from 10 individual industries (ranging from car manufacturers to basic materials).
Due to the single respondent group “senior managers”, the ranking clearly has an executive bias. Mid-sized and small as well as many major family-owned companies (e.g. Freudenberg) are not rated. As of now, the overall results of all 181 individual firms can only be found in the print version of manager magazin. They are not accessible via an easy-to-reach website, as for example the results of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies”. In the case of Image Profile, such a data base would be very valuable, as the ranking has a long history (published for the 17th time) – which would facilitate analyzing long-term developments for individual firms.
As in the 2008 ranking, this year Porsche is again on top of the table, followed by BMW and Audi. It should be noted that automobile manufacturers regularly take top places in this ranking. The above average performance of the automobile industry may be attributed to the selection of persons surveyed, (predominantly male German) executives. Very few countries would seem to foster the same strong affection for automobiles among managers as “Autoland” Germany. While this type of informant bias cannot always be avoided in empirical surveys, such a high degree must be viewed critically. Due to the huge differences in glamor of the products (e.g. luxury cars vs. salt or cement), it is also questionable whether it makes sense to comprise and compare the producers of such diverse products in one cross-industry ranking. Therefore, the editors of manager magazin should contemplate to publish the 10 individual industry rankings rather than focusing on the cross-industry ranking.
As depicted above, the design of “Image Profiles” has significant room for improvement. Apart from these (solvable) flaws, the ranking can be a valuable tool to analyze and compare developments in terms of reputation strength over time.
Click here to read the article on “manager magazin online” (German).
– 10 points –
– 9 points –
– 11 points –
– 9 points –
– 39 (out of 60) –