The latest quarterly survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland has found that a conclusive majority (94%) of business leaders believes their organisation has a social and moral responsibility to cease or minimise trade/business with or in Russia due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In addition, ‘geopolitical/economic instability’ and ‘escalation of Russia-Ukraine war’ were seen by business leaders as among the biggest risks facing their organisations.
The IoD’s Director Sentiment Monitor for Q1 2022, to be published in early May, has also found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of business leaders are either ‘extremely’ or ‘very concerned’ about the wider consequences of the war in Ukraine impacting post-pandemic economic recovery, with a further 25% ‘concerned to some degree’.
Commenting on the findings, Thora Mackey CDir, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, said:
“First and foremost, business leaders acknowledge the massive and tragic humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine. They stand in solidarity with those trying to bring an end to the war and this is borne out by our research finding that a clear majority (94%) of business leaders are against trade with Russia. However, the reality is that businesses and the economy continue to function, but they must do so in a global context that is uncertain and fraught with significant risks to their organisations, trading partners and economies. Unsurprisingly, geopolitical/economic instability, and inflation, are seen by business leaders as the two most significant risks. This international crisis is evolving each day. It is to be hoped that efforts to find a peaceful resolution will be successful sooner rather than later, to avoid further loss of life and human suffering.”
On the other key advance findings in the IoD survey, Thora Mackey CDir added:
“It’s been a challenging two years, but business leaders need to remain agile and decisive in navigating their organisations through the uncertainty of the continued global pandemic and the geopolitical/economic instability. Nearly three quarters of business leaders are either ‘extremely’ or ‘very concerned’ about the wider consequences of the war impacting post-pandemic economic recovery, with a further 25% ‘concerned to some degree’."
The key findings of the IoD’s Director Sentiment Monitor for Q1 2022 include:
War in Ukraine – trade with Russia? When asked, 'In respect of your role as a business leader, do you believe your primary organisation has a social and moral responsibility to cease or minimise trade/business with or in Russia due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine?' the business leaders replied as follows:
- Yes: 94%
- No: 3%
- Don't know: 3%
War in Ukraine – post-pandemic recovery. When asked, 'While recognising that the war in Ukraine is primarily a humanitarian tragedy, how concerned are you by the wider consequences of the war in Ukraine impacting post-pandemic economic recovery?' the respondents chose as follows:
- Extremely concerned: 27%
- Very concerned: 47%
- Concerned to some degree: 25%
- Not concerned: 1%
- No opinion on it: 1%
Biggest risks - turbulence in 2022. When asked, 'At present, what do you believe is the single biggest risk facing your organisation?' the business leaders replied as follows (Top 9 choices below, from a list of 19 options.):
- Geopolitical/economic instability: 19%
- Inflation: 12%
- Labour sourcing/quality/capability/retention: 11%
- Escalation of Russia-Ukraine war: 11%
- Rising energy costs: 8%
- Rising costs of raw materials: 6%
- Cyber security attack (e.g. Ransomware attack): 5%
- A return of public health restrictions caused by COVID-19 and its variants: 5%
- Negative consumer confidence: 5%
The findings in this survey have been rounded up or down to the nearest decimal point.
The IoD’s Director Sentiment Monitor survey for Q1 2022 was conducted between 28th March 2022 and 8th April 2022 and was completed by 314 directors and business leaders, who are members of IoD Ireland. In addition, 72% of the respondents are directors (including 41% who are CEOs), with the majority of the remainder in senior executive roles.