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Business backs stakeholder plan

Britain's business leaders have provided a significant boost to the "stakeholder" concept associated with Tony Blair's New Labour party by supporting the view that a truly successful company will better serve the needs of customers, employees, suppliers and the wider community.

The Mori study for the Centre for Tomorrow's Company published today found 72 captains of industry backing this approach.

But 44 per cent went further, agreeing with the statement that "business cannot succeed without recognising that it is accountable to other stakeholders as well as shareholders".

The centre was set up in the wake of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce's inquiry into the company of the future, to promote the idea of the "inclusive approach" to business.

It seized on the survey findings as evidence of a fundamental change in attitudes since the Tomorrow's Company inquiry began in 1992.