Redefining business success in a changing world

PwC’s 19th annual global CEO survey: Australian report and analysis
20 January 2016

Examines key issues across the CEO agenda including growth, transformation, measuring success and managing stakeholders.


CEOs both at home and abroad are feeling less optimistic about global economic growth, as well their own organisation’s ability to grow, compared to views last year.

A plethora of reasons have contributed to this. Australia’s economy is readjusting itself from a mining boom, China’s economy is slowing, and the speed of technological change and a huge leap in cyber-attacks means volatility is the everyday norm.

We’re seeing Australian CEOs respond by focusing on cost-cutting measures and reducing headcount. While there’s merit in this, the focus should be on productivity, innovation and R&D, as these will lead to the long-term sustainable growth Australia needs.

The stakeholder pool is broadening and with it comes challenges of who, and how, companies can effectively communicate organisational values and purpose to. It’s no longer just financial investors or regulators that are essential stakeholders, rather customers, industry competitors and local communities who seem to yield significant impact on organisational strategies. Mobile connectivity and social media have meant that everyone is looking for more information on the companies they engage with. This means companies need to convey much more than financial returns, including the broader impact they have on communities, who they partner with and employee practices.

In this year’s report we discuss key issues across the CEO agenda including growth, transformation, measuring success and managing stakeholders. We also consider the role that government has to play, in particular tax reform and helping secure a skilled and adaptable workforce with a focus on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

In conjunction with the survey participants for Australia, we also interviewed 5 business leaders to further understand just how significant each of these issues are for their organisations, and what they’re doing to address them.

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PwC Australia, 2016, Redefining business success in a changing world, PWC, viewed 29 April 2017, <>.

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