DUBAI—New research finds that 82% of Middle East C-suite executives think that a strong corporate reputation boosts a company's bottomline and contributes to its business success.

The Reputation Index, conducted by H+K Strategies and YouGov, polled 422 C-suite senior executives across the Gulf. More than half were UAE based, 42% were in Saudi Arabia and 6% were from Qatar.

Nearly four out of five senior executives across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, consider their company’s corporate reputation as “extremely important” and this figure rises to 95% when those who ranked it as “important” were also included.

In addition to examining the importance that senior executives place on their corporate reputation, the report also looks at the ways they assess their reputation, the factors they feel drive corporate reputation, who in a company has the most influence on reputation and the value of a strong reputation when facing a crisis.

Key findings include:

• In order to assess corporate reputation, senior decision makers stated customer feedback mechanisms and customer face-to-face meetings as most useful;

• 84% of senior executives 'agreed' with the statement that a strong reputation can help a company recover quickly in a crisis;

• When asked which factor – other than financial performance – steered reputation, one factor stood out clearly in all three markets: quality of management;

• Findings were generally consistent across the three Gulf markets – with just one small exception. In Qatar, workplace culture and media commentary were seen as significant in driving reputation (alongside quality of management and leadership) while in the UAE and Saudi Arabia these two factors were seen as having less influence.

“Senior decision makers across The Gulf clearly recognise how important – and critical – a strong corporate reputation is in today’s highly competitive, highly transparent and fast moving business environment," said Sconaid McGeachin, president/CEO of H+K Strategies, Africa, Middle East & Turkey.

"This is especially true as the eyes of the world are increasingly focused on the region thanks to thriving business sectors and a booming overall economy – and as we gear up to hosting the Expo 2020. Reputation impacts all elements of business, from recruitment to re-financing – and this is appreciated by senior executives"

"Senior executives felt quality of management and leadership steer reputation significantly," added McGeachin. "Other still important factors flagged were related to corporate transparency and ability to deliver on expectations."