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As we have in the past, Fortune collaborated with our partner Korn Ferry Hay Group on this survey of corporate reputations. We began with a universe of about 1,500 candidates: the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue, along with non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenues of $10 billion or more.
We then winnowed the assortment to the highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 680 in 28 countries. The top-rated companies were picked from that pool of 680; the executives who voted work at the companies in that group.
To determine the best-regarded companies in 51 industries, Korn Ferry Hay Group asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate enterprises in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value and quality of management and products to social responsibility and ability to attract talent. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed.
To select our 50 All-Stars, Korn Ferry Hay Group asked 3,800 executives, directors, and securities analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to select the 10 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 explains why some results can seem at odds with each other. For example, Samsung Electronics fell off the All-Star list as its combustible phone batteries singed its sales and stature, but Samsung moved up one notch within the electronics category when votes from only those in that industry were counted.
Korn Ferry Hay Group, which has conducted the research for the World's Most Admired Companies list since 1997, is a global management consulting firm.