The Top Companies for Leaders 2007

We spanned the globe to find the top companies for leaders.

Summary of Research Methodology
How we pick the Top Companies for Leaders

To select the Top Companies for Leaders, Hewitt Associates and its research partners Fortune and The RBL Group surveyed human resources executives around the world. The study was open to organizations of any type (public, private, or nonprofit) from any location, with revenues of any size. In 2006, approximately 10,000 companies, which included Fortune 1000 companies and Hewitt and RBL Group clients, were sent surveys. A total of 563 companies from around the globe participated. They completed a detailed questionnaire that examined factors that influence leader quality and depth in organizations. All entries were analyzed for responses that were consistent with strong leadership practices. To elicit honest answers and maintain the integrity of the methodology, the screening questions are not published. Of all participants, 250 were deemed finalists based on this analysis. Each finalist company was asked to complete an in-depth interview with Hewitt to gain greater clarity and depth about their specific leadership practices. In addition, one or more senior business executives from each finalist company completed interviews to discuss how leadership is a part of their organization's culture. The interviews followed a standard protocol and were summarized to provide manageable data on consistent categories of information. Hewitt scored the company survey data by assigning points to questions and responses to yield both category and overall scores. All finalist companies were then screened for financial performance relative to their industry.

A panel of judges, composed of authors, academics, and journalists, gathered in each region to select and rank the 2007 Top Companies for Leaders lists in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America. The judges considered many variables in selecting and ranking the lists, including the survey and interview data, company reputation, leadership culture and values, and a proven track record. A separate judges panel, composed of one representative from each regional panel, considered all the regional Top Companies (45 total) and selected and ranked the Global Top Companies for Leaders.

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Eligibility for regional and global Top Companies lists

Any organization was eligible to participate in the survey process. However, global organizations were eligible for the list in the region in which they are headquartered. Subsidiaries of publicly traded companies are eligible for the list if they are publicly traded, separate from their parent company. Subsidiaries of non-publicly traded parent companies are eligible only if they have a separate board of directors.

How we pick the country-level lists

The country-level study is a derivative of the regional and global studies. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) study was the primary list. The global eligibility rules applied (e.g. subsidiaries only eligible if they were separately traded) and financial analysis was a part of the judging process. The judges panel met and selected a Top 10 list in Asia Pacific.

The country lists are additional lists that were added into the study. For these lists, the eligibility rules were relaxed such that subsidiaries (not separately traded, e.g. McDonalds China) could be part of the selection process. In addition, since it is almost impossible to obtain accurate financials on these local business units, the financial analysis was not part of the process. The rest of the research process was the same. A minimum participation level was established in order to select a country list, as well as a ratio that determined what size list could be selected.

Since the regional list was selected first, the rules stated that all of the companies selected for the Asia-Pacific list MUST appear on the country list in the order they were selected on the APAC list. So on the India country list, the first 5 companies all were on the APAC list, in that order. There is one additional company, making a Top 6, due to the ratio about list size. On the Australia/New Zealand list, the first 3 companies are on the APAC list, with 2 spots available for additional companies to be selected. In China, there was only 1 company selected for the APAC list, leaving 5 more spots for the judges to select.

There are no companies from these 3 countries that are on the APAC list but not the country list.

Top Companies for Leaders 2007 judges panel

Hewitt collaborated with Fortune magazine and The RBL Group to identify the Top Companies for Leaders. The judges panel, composed of renowned authors, professors, and journalists, selected and ranked the Top Companies for Leaders list. The global judges panel was composed of one member from each region's panel. Listed below are the members of the each regional judges panel.

North American Panel Jim Kouzes
J. Bonner Ritchie
Michael Useem
Asia-Pacific Panel Dato' Dr. Michael Yeoh
Dexter Dunphy
General Ved Prakash Malik
James McGregor
Kathleen Slaughter
Arun Nigavekar
Latin American Panel Nicolas Majluf
Pedro Aspe
Ricardo Rocco
European Panel Andy Andrews
Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño
Jürgen Wegge
Anthony Willoughby
Global Panel Dexter Dunphy
Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño
Nicolas Majluf
Michael Useem

North American judges panel

Jim Kouzes is a highly regarded leadership scholar, popular speaker, experienced executive, and the co-author of the several award-winning and best-selling books describing leadership principles and practices generating high performance in individuals and organizations. He is an executive fellow, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Leavy School of Business, Santa Clara University. Kouzes, along with Barry Posner, developed the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), the prevalent and renowned assessment instrument designed to evaluate leadership behaviors. The Wall Street Journal named Kouzes as one of the twelve best educators in the United States.

J. Bonner Ritchie is renowned for teaching, consulting, and conducting research in the areas of leadership development, organizational change, conflict resolution, organizational philosophy and ethics. He is Professor Emeritus of International Organizational Behavior at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. During his professional career, he served as a faculty member of five leading United States universities and three within the Arab nations. His library of publications includes the co-authoring of "Organizations and People," many book chapters, and over 50 professional articles.

Michael Useem is Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has completed several studies on corporate organization, ownership, governance, restructuring and leadership. Useem has presented leadership and change seminars to more than 55 leading organizations globally and consulted on corporate governance and organizational change. As a professor, he has developed MBA and executive MBA programs on leadership, teamwork, governance, and decision making for national and global managers.

European judges panel

Andy Andrews has extensive experience as a scholar and consultant within the European and South African markets. He is Professor at Henley Management College UK and IESE Business School in Barcelona. He is founder of the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology offering the Henley MBA in South Africa. Andrews has served on the boards of several companies, consulted extensively to companies in South Africa and internationally, and is currently Chairman of Paracon Holdings.

Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño is Dean of Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, and an avid contributor to the field of quality control in executive education. He led consortium initiatives with several leading Latin American business schools to create the Sumaq Alliance, serves as a Chairman of EQUAL and is a member of the International Advisory Board of AMBA. In addition to his consulting efforts, he has published several business management articles, practical case studies and books pertaining to moral and political philosophy.

Jürgen Wegge serves as a Professor of Psychology and director of the international MA program at the Ludwigs-Maximilian-University. His published works consists of 3 books, 27 journal articles and 49 book chapters, focusing on group leadership, work and organizational psychology, academic motivation and work emotions. Throughout his career, he sat on the faculty and served as a lecturer to over eleven universities.

Anthony Willoughby established the I Will Not Complain team building and leadership development programs in Japan in January 1989 to inspire self-confidence, courage, and personal leadership in others by using the outside world as a natural classroom. After 25 years in Asia, Willoughby returned to the UK to develop his Territory Mapping process that enables businesses to simplify complex issues by mapping their 'corporate territory'. Willoughby has been featured in TV documentaries, and articles about his entrepreneurial activities have appeared in many international publications.

Asia Pacific region judges panel

Dato' Dr. Michael O.K. Yeoh is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute and the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation. He is also Co-Chairman of the ASEAN Leadership Forum and Organizing Chairman of the Asia Economic Summit. In addition to writing and co-authoring several books, Yeoh addressed numerous international conferences including the Asia Society New York, the China Development Institute, and The World Economic Forum.

Dexter Dunphy is Distinguished Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. His main research and consulting interests are in corporate sustainability, the management of organizational change and human resource management. He has published over 90 articles and 25 books. During his 35 years of professional experience, he has consulted with more than 160 private and public Australian organizations working to enhance managerial skills of senior executives, managers, and other professionals through workshops, consulting, and coaching. He served as faculty to seven universities globally and received over seven honorary awards for excellence in the field of research and teaching.

General Ved Prakash Malik is a former Chief of the Indian Army and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Chief, he commanded an Army over a million strong. Currently, he is advisor to several organizations in India on security issues, leadership development, and management, and serves on several boards as an independent director.

James McGregor is the author of "One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China," a widely acclaimed best-seller. He started as a journalist focusing in China in 1985, and a reporter on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C for Knight-Ridder Newspapers. From 1987 to 1993, he served as The Wall Street Journal's Taiwan Bureau Chief and The Wall Street Journal's China Bureau Chief. McGregor is currently a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, a member of the International Council of Asia Society, and serves on a variety of China-related advisory boards.

Kathleen Slaughter has taught at the Richard Ivey School of Business, at the University of Western Ontario, Canada since 1983 in the full-time MBA Program, the Executive MBA program and Ivey's executive programs worldwide. She is currently the Dean of Richard Ivey School of Business in Hong Kong. Slaughter is the author of many cases and teaching materials for management communications and leadership courses taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Arun Nigavekar is a well-known Physicist and renowned educationist with 40 years of experience. His significant contributions include the internationalization of higher education. He was Chairman and Vice Chairman of University Grants Commission India from 2000-2005. He was also a moving force behind the Tenth Plan of the University Grants Commission, which focused on networking of universities and internationalization of higher education. He is founder editor of Physics Educational Journal, a journal of international recognition, and a permanent member and former Vice-Chairman of Asian Physics Education Network.

Latin American judges panel

Nicolas Majluf is professor of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of the Catholic University of Chile. Dr. Majluf has extensive experience in academic and consulting forums, and has received advanced degrees in Management, Operation Research, and Industrial Engineering.

Pedro Aspe is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Protego Asesores, a leading investment banking advisory firm in Mexico, and teaches at the Instituto Tecnólgicó Autónomo de Mexico. Aspe has held a number of positions in the Mexican government and was most recently the Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico. He is a Director of the Carnegie Corporation and Televisa, and sits on the advisory boards of several other companies and university committees.

Ricardo Rocco is a senior consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates in Brazil. He specializes in the consumer products, pharmaceutical, medical technology, devices and diagnostics, and mobile communications industries. Based in São Paulo, he has conducted searches for presidents, general managers, and marketing and sales directors in Brazil and Argentina. He also participated in cross-border searches for global clients.

From the October 1, 2007 issue
Tops for leaders in Europe
Nokia Inc. Espoo, Finland
BBVA Bilbao, Spain
Inditex, S.A. Arteixo, Spain
Tops for leaders in Asia
Hindustan Unilever Limited Mumbai, India
Infosys Technologies Limited Bangalore, India
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited Melbourne, Australia