For my favorite company on the lists, I chose Microsoft for their dedication to innovation – not only in product line as demonstrated by successful change in leadership – but to employee needs as well (Racanelli, 2015). The organization recently trialed a 4 day workweek in Japan, likely a response to changing needs of their employees and the growing push for more flexible working hours and locations. There is a lot of information floating around about work-life balance and benefits of flexible work-spaces and their increase on productivity, so the fact Microsoft was willing to give it a try – and see benefits – is admirable (Toh & Wakatsuki, 2019). With acknowledgement that the surveys are a bit out of date, I have to choose Amazon as my least favorite (but please note, Amazon Prime is still the best thing ever invented). They’ve got a few scandals from an employee relations perspective brewing recently, and while I love the convenience and speed of service Amazon offers – we have to consider cost with relation to rights of individuals working for the organization.
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Fortune and Barron’s maintain different methodologies for evaluating and selecting their coveted “Most” lists. Fortune’s Most Admired companies are by and large evaluated based on the feelings of executives and analysts, while Barron’s Most Respected companies are measured based on investor perception of the organization. The difference is significant as these groups could have very different views of organizational behavior. While the performance factors like revenue generation and return on investment may be black and white, the qualitative information so heavily valued in both studies leaves plenty of room for error based on the respondent population. On the matter of agreeance with the survey evaluation criteria, I can’t say I fully support either. However, I did find Fortune’s strategy to be extremely out of touch for only polling executives, directors, and analysts of top candidate companies, and only qualifying companies with the highest revenue generation regardless of other factors (How We Determine the List, 2019). This seems to be a strange way to come up with a list of anything that is “most admired” because the survey pool is loaded with internal stakeholders – not necessarily representative of the entire invested picture. I appreciate Barron’s approach with polling actual investors in their pool of organizations, though it is interesting that Apple emerged on top with both lists regardless of survey methodology (Racanelli, 2015).