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Methodology for World’s Most Admired Companies

HOW WE CONDUCT THE MOST ADMIRED SURVEY

The Most Admired list is the definitive report card on corporate reputations. Our survey partners at Hay Group started with approximately 1,400 companies: the Fortune 1,000 – the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue; non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database with revenues of $10 billion or more. Hay then selected the 15 largest for each international industry and the 10 largest for each U.S. industry, surveying a total of 668 companies from 29 countries. To create the 55 industry lists, Hay asked executives, directors and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value to social responsibility. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed.

Because of the distribution of responses, only the aggregate industry scores and ranks are published in: Energy: U.S.; Mining, Crude-Oil Production; Petroleum Refining; and Wholesalers: Diversified. Because of an insufficient response rate,
the results for companies in the Pipelines industry are not reported.

To arrive at the top 50 Most Admired Companies overall, the Hay Group asked 4,104 executives, directors, and securities analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to select the ten companies they admired most. They chose from a list made up of the companies that ranked in the top 25% in last year’s surveys, plus those that finished in the top 20% of their industry. Anyone could vote for any company in any industry. The difference in the voting rolls is why some results can seem anomalous. For example, Southwest Airlines ranks No. 7 on the overall Most Admired list, far ahead of No. 39 Delta Air Lines. But within the airline category, based on experts’ responses, Delta Air Lines leads the ranking for the third consecutive year, and Southwest Airlines missed the Most Admired cut by ranking in the bottom half of the industry.
Hay Group, which has conducted the research for the World’s Most Admired Companies list since 1997 and for America’s Most Admired Companies since 2001, is a global management consulting firm. For information about Hay Group’s services, go to haygroup.com.

Fortune is no longer publishing the list of World’s Most Admired contenders online. If you are interested in obtaining your company’s industry score and ranking, please phone or e-mail your request to Douglas Elam of Fortune’s List Department. Please call Douglas at 212-522-6841 or email him at: douglas_elam@fortune.com