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Research Reports & Papers

Crisis in Democracy: Renewing Trust in America. The report of the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy RP

The Knight Commission report focuses on the intersection of distrust in American democratic institutions and in the journalistic media. Worthwhile for any professional interested in the current climate of distrust, this report finishes with ten recommendations for journalism, technology and citizens, on how democratic governance can best be preserved throughout difficult times.

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The road to digital unfreedom: three painful truths about social media RP

In this article, Ronald J. Deibert from the University of Toronto examines the state of big tech companies today. Describing Google as a ‘massive commercial surveillance system’, Deibert explains what he calls ‘three painful truths’ about social media. First, that the social-media business model is based on relentless surveillance of personal data to tailor advertisements. Second, that we permit this surveillance willingly if not wittingly. Third, that social media is not incompatible with authoritarianism, and in fact enables it in many cases. Deibert highlights the issues of social media in great detail, but ends on a hopeful note. “The tasks are enormous, yet we must avoid fatalistic resignation to the toxic world of personal-data surveillance,” he writes. “We need to imagine a better world and start making it happen, before it is too late.”

To read the article click here
The business of saving the planet RP

As businesses are beginning to become fully engaged on the issue of climate change, professors at Harvard Business School in domains such as customer service, finance, operations, and business history are coming together to explore the many facets of how sustainability and business management might mix. At the link below, you can see a sample of that work, which features a background article, seven stories on the business of environmental sustainability, and five research papers.

To access these resources click here
2019 Edelman Trust Barometer RP

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer highlights some interesting shifts in global trust trends. ‘My Employer’ has emerged as the most trusted entity, as people-to-people relationships feel more controllable. The shift is also noticed in the context of a “mass-class” divide. Trust among the informed public moved to a high of 65 per cent, while the mass population continues to distrust institutions (49 per cent). Pessimism is widespread, with only one in five of the mass population respondents believing the system is working for them. Fears of job loss among the general population remain high, and more than twice as many of resoibdebts say innovation is too fast (54 per cent) versus those who say it is too slow (21 per cent). A desire for change can be seen through various social movements, from the Gilet Jaunes in France to #MeToo movement. And this is spreading to the consumption of news, up 22 points in a year to 72 per cent. Trust in traditional media and trust in search are now tied at 66 percent, their highest historical levels, while trust in social media is in crisis (43 percent).

For the full report click here or to read the Executive Summary click here
Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions for 2019 RP

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s predictions for 2019 are outlined in great detail in this report, which notes that 2019 will be a ‘critical year’ for publishers and platforms in terms of rebuilding trust and credibility. 2019, it writes, will be a year of fundamental shifts. The labelling and prioritising of trusted content as a means to counter misinformation is well underway. Likewise, organisations like the New York Times are working on the basis that every piece of content they make should be worth paying for. This underpins the changing business model of news media, which sees subscriptions and private foundations becoming more and more important as advertising revenue continues to fall. The report predicts that more news organisations will go to the wall as economic conditions worsen, and that artificial intelligence will open up many possibilities for the way news is told.
This report is recommended reading for corporate public affairs practitioners to better understand the changing media environment.

To download the report click here
Sustainability reporting: a best practice RP

The reporting process and the resulting report has become essential for strategic decision-making, enabling stronger long-term planning, stakeholder relations, and data-driven insights. And as disclosure becomes more popular, reports become more sophisticated (and useful). According to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s State of Corporate Citizenship 2017, executives appreciate the value of corporate citizenship reporting and are continuing to increase their investment in it. According to the report, more than 40 per cent of executives reported that their companies issued a report, and more than 65 per cent reported they plan to grow these investments. In addition to the business benefits, it is also fast becoming a legal requirement to report ESG metrics. In France, nonfinancial reporting requirements have been in place since 2015, and in Denmark, since 2009. Across the board, the clear trend is toward greater transparency in both financial and nonfinancial dimensions.

To read the full article from the BCCC’s magazine click here
Corporate sponsorship may be diverting research and distorts public policy, claims report RP

A new study published by University of Sydney researchers in the American Journal of Public Health on Wednesday suggests that corporate support of academic studies could be diverting researchers away from important public health questions. The paper, which seeks to understand how corporate support of research shapes the agendas of researchers, cites examination of 36 articles from 1986 to 2017 – four papers on tobacco, three on the food industry, three on plant or animal biotechnology and others relating to the alcohol, chemical or mining industries. “They use the same strategies,” the lead author, Alice Fabbri, told Guardian Australia. “They (corporations) fund research that can be used to promote their products or distract from the harms of their products, or to drive the research away from policies that will tend to harm them.” The article comes at a time when rising community distrust of some corporations and in some industry sectors is fuelling calls for universities to reduce their connections with business, at the same time that many governments, universities, and industry groups are calling for more companies to partner with higher education on applied innovation and research.

For the full story click here
Corporate Impacts: Focused on Connecting Stakeholders (2017) RP
Dr. Jennifer J. Griffin
Dr. Jennifer Griffin is Professor of Strategy and the Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J. Professor of Business Ethics at Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business (Chicago, IL). An award winning educator, Dr. Griffin examines how firms continuously create value. In this chapter from Managing for Responsibility: A Sourcebook for an Alternative Paradigm (Sharma, R., Csuri, M. & Ogunyemi, K. (Eds)), Dr. Griffin examines stakeholders and stakeholder relations in corporations, and how corporations and their stakeholders co-create value.
The SAGE Handbook of International Corporate and Public Affairs RP

This new edition of The SAGE Handbook of International Corporate and Public Affairs builds on the success of the first edition (2005) by comprehensively updating and enhancing the material and structure, setting a new standard for the practitioner and student of the global public affairs discipline.

The new edition includes increased international coverage of the field, and a strong focus on emerging trends, as well as providing a comprehensive overview of the foundations and key aspects of the discipline.

The Handbook is organised into six thematic sections, including a generously-sized section devoted to case studies of public affairs in action:
- Foundations of PA
- PA and its relationship to other Key Disciplines
- Emerging Trends in PA
- The Regional Development and Application of PA
- Case Studies of PA in Action
- Tactical Approaches to Executing PA

Containing contributions from leading experts in the field today, this Handbook is designed to serve the needs of scholars, researchers, students and professionals alike.

Click here to find out more

94% of Australians do not read all privacy policies that apply to them – and that’s rational behaviour RP

According to new Australia-wide research on consumer attitudes to privacy released by the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) today, Australians are agreeing to privacy policies they are not comfortable with, and would prefer companies only to collect data that is essential to the delivery of their service. The report found that 94% of Australians don’t read all privacy policies that apply to them, and although some suggest that it is because Australians simply don’t care about privacy, there are four good reasons as to why this isn’t the case. First, we don’t have enough time. According to international research, it would take the average person 244 hours per year to read all the privacy policies that apply to them. Next, we can’t understand them. Usually, the title of privacy changes will be a feel-good statement like “We care about your privacy” and the text of the statement will be filled with vague and open-ended terms. Thirdly, we usually have no ability to negotiate about how much of our data the company will collect, and how it will use and disclose it. And finally, we can’t generally avoid the service altogether. According to the CPRC, over two thirds of Australians have agreed to terms they’re not comfortable with, because most often it is the only way to access the service in question.

For the full story click here
Business giving and volunteering RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs
This report presents the findings of Giving Australia 2016 on giving and volunteering by business. The research was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Department of Social Services. The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), with the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, partnered to undertake this research project.
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Definition of key socio-political terms from the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs
Definition of key socio-political terms from the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs
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Taking it to the top RP
Foundation for Public Affairs
Advice on public policy engagement for the C-suite
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2015 State of Public Affairs: Public Affairs Management and Organisational Structure in Australia RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs

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Measuring the social impact of CCI - Executive Summary RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs

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2012 State of Public Affairs - Going the distance RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs

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2009 State of Public Affairs - Surviving the storm RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs

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Impact of the economic downturn on not-for-profit organisation management (June 2009) RP

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs commissioned the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs to undertake research into the impact of the current economic downturn on the operations of not-for-profit community organisations. It provides a snapshot of the magnitude of the impact on NFP organisations, covering funding, services, management and operations, and relationships. This follows a report completed in 2008, ‘Relationship Matters: Not-for-profit community organisations and corporate community investment’.
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Impact of the economic downturn on corporate community investment RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs
The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs was recently commissioned by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA) to research the impact of the global economic downturn on corporate community investment. Key findings of the Centre's research are that while many companies in Australia are experiencing significant pressure on budgets, overall, companies are maintaining their commitments to corporate community investment.
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Relationship matters: not-for-profit community organisations and corporate community investment (October 2008) RP
Centre for Corporate Public Affairs
The direction of corporate community partnerships in Australia is towards an 'integrative' stage of collaboration, in which partners create new services and activities as a result of their collaboration, according to a recently released research report. The report, 'Relationship matters: not-for-profit community organisations and corporate community investment', by the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, was commissioned by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The report has found that outcomes produced by these integrative partnerships include better societal outcomes, and improved delivery of services at a local level.Corporate community partnerships are able to address, or assist in addressing societal issues and produce outcomes that governments cannot (or cannot do alone), and that businesses and not-for-profit organisations cannot achieve exclusively. Relationship matters: not-for-profit community organisations and corporate community investment looks at how to best leverage the operations and activities of NFP organisations to enhance interactions with large businesses. The report also examines: barriers to corporate community partnerships developing further in Australia, differences between not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and corporations, positive and negative factors at play in these partnerships, trends and developments in corporate community partnerships. We acknowledge the contribution of the NFP organisations that participated in workshops, consultations and provided feedback via the online survey.
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Corporate Community Investment in Australia RP

The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, in collaboration with the Business Council of Australia, was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership to undertake research into corporate community investment in Australia. It includes a review of international practice.
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The corporate political environment, and big business response RP

Public Lecture given by Geoff Allen in July 2006, sponsored by the Melbourne Business School and Faculty of Economics and Commerce, Melbourne University.
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2006 State of Australian Public Affairs Summary RP

The 2006 State of Australian public Affairs provides the latest information on the management of the Public Affairs function. This summary covers organisational structure, strategic planning, resources and public affairs activities.
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A view from the Top: Business ethics and leadership RP

KPMG Australia report on Board perceptions of business ethics and leadership, based on interviews and research with members of company boards. This 15 page report is compact and takes a high-level snapshot of what the highest levels of organisations think about business ethics, corporate responsibility and the challenges for Boards in this area of 'soft' organisational values.
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Corporate Social Responsibility Discussion Paper RP
Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee

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