Oxford-GlobeScan Global Corporate Affairs Survey 2024

2024 Survey Report

This is the fifth annual Oxford-GlobeScan Global Corporate Affairs Survey Report which provides the latest overview of opinions, trends, and challenges through the lens of Corporate Affairs practitioners from around the world.

For the second year running, Corporate Affairs professionals see geopolitical risk and uncertainty as the most pressing short-term risk to global businesses.

Since the 2023 survey, the existing tensions and uncertainties brought about by the war in Ukraine and East-West frictions have become more embedded and have been exacerbated by the conflict in Gaza, and worries over the outcome of elections in many countries around the world. Geopolitical risk tops the list with 70 percent of respondents citing it as their top concern, up considerably compared to last year.

Corporate Affairs professionals believe innovation and AI, adaptation to climate-related issues, and the energy transition offer the biggest positive scope to their businesses.

While the impact of AI and technology is seen as a rising risk to business, Corporate Affairs professionals also report that innovation and AI offer the biggest opportunity. The ability to adapt and pivot to climate-related issues, along with the energy transition, are seen as the second and third biggest opportunities for global businesses. 

Stakeholder engagement is the fastest-growing responsibility within the Corporate Affairs function

Last year’s survey saw the function breakthrough by engaging in providing a social context for business driven by the geopolitical uncertainties at the time, findings in 2024 mark a return to its more traditional role of stakeholder and reputation engagement.

With the uncertainties that accompany geopolitical risk affecting every touch point of an organization, it is no surprise that stakeholder engagement has shot to the top spot from fifth place in 2023, with 70 percent of respondents saying that it is their top focus.

Other key findings from the report:

  • The perception that political populism is an increasing risk for business has been on an upward trend since 2020
  • Recent years have seen the continuing rise of ESG priorities as well as associated risks and concerns
  • The degree to which Corporate Affairs leaders see the ESG landscape varies significantly by region
  • Nearly half of Corporate Affairs professionals say they have at least somewhat adopted AI into their work

Read Previous Year’s Reports

The Oxford-GlobeScan Global Corporate Affairs Survey is created in collaboration with the Säid Business School at Oxford University. This report captures the views and insights of 227 senior professionals who were surveyed in March 2024 on issues and themes of relevance to the function.