Emaar strong on innovation in Crowe corporate decision-making index

26 June 2018 Consultancy-me.com 4 min. read

As one of the world’s most profitable companies in the manufacturing, healthcare and real estate sectors, Dubai-based Emaar Properties has featured as the only Middle Eastern business on a list devised by global accounting network Crowe which ranks corporate decision-making.

In its inaugural ‘Art of Smart – Crowe 100 Decision-Making Index and Report’ for 2018, published in June, the international audit, tax, advisory and risk network Crowe (the eighth largest accounting network in the world – with its 220-plus member firms recently rebranding from Crowe Horwath International to Crowe) has assessed ‘strong, effective decision-making’ in corporate leadership.

The analysis compared the world’s most profitable businesses (based on 2017 figures) operating in the industries which Crowe most frequently serves – manufacturing, healthcare and real estate (omitting any companies that had recently faced major scandals) – with decision-making broken down into four equally-weighted components and assessed over a five-year period beginning 2013.

While acknowledging the difficulty in assessing a good decision at any given point, the authors note that the effects of a good decision can however be thoroughly examined – thus allowing for a subjective analysis to be underpinned by related objective data. Ultimately, the authors set out to determine if there was any measurable correlation between the leadership themes commonly expressed and the performance of public companies. The four categories considered were growth, diversity, boldness and innovation.

Emaar strong on innovation in Crowe corporate decision-making index

As the only Middle East-headquartered firm on the list, real estate developers Emaar Properties, which had revenues last year closing in on $6 billion and is perhaps best known internationally for developing the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa (with technical design services provided by GHD – although about to be eclipsed by the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia) scored a solid 7 for innovation; placing it in the upper echelons in the category for those on the list, and just slightly behind the overall top-ranking leaders Atlas Copco, Volvo Group, Apple, Medtronic and Cisco.

As a comparison, Emaar outranked or equalled top manufacturing-tech names on innovation such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Hewlitt Packard – all also featuring in the top quartile overall on the list for corporate leadership. Emaar, however, ranked in equal-86th place overall, with its total score of 17 out of 40 placing it just ahead of the bottom ten. Scoring a 6 for ‘boldness’, the poor overall ranking was due to a 3 for market capitalisation ‘growth’, and just one point out of ten for ‘diversity.’

Scores of 3 or below on diversity were a common feature of those companies ranked in the bottom quarter of the list. This was of course in part causative for the low-ranking itself, but while a subjectively chosen measure of leadership, there remained a general correlation between low market capitalisation and diversity scores for the companies studied. Further, numerous studies by some the world’s leading strategy firms have now shown the business advantages of greater diversity.

One such study earlier this year by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quarter-bracket for gender and cultural diversity at the executive level were 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability, with those in the bottom quartile for diversity being 29 percent less likely. The Boston Consulting Group meanwhile, in another study on women in the workforce, found that businesses in the GCC states were significantly lagging international benchmarks when it came to female representation at board and executive level.

The simple argument is that, as a reflection of the world-at-large, and in providing differing points of view, diversity itself can help with smarter decision-making. David Mellor, CEO of Crowe Global, said of the report; “In making any significant decision, all companies face a range of variables and carry a host of unforeseen biases. By learning more about the process of decision-making, companies can make smarter decisions and create lasting value… More than any other factor, it remains the key component to determining successful companies and predicting future success.”