The Ethics of perpetuating seriously flawed country rankings

Harald Bergsteiner, Gayle C. Avery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper evaluates Bergsteiner and Avery’s (2012) claim that the Global Competitiveness Report(GCR) is significantly biased towards the Anglo/US business model and results in Anglo countries achieving unrealistically high competitiveness rankings, thereby reinforcing an essentially discredited business model. These authors predicted that removing the bias would result in the US, the main proponent of the Anglo/US business model, slipping in global competitiveness from among the top 10 to somewhere between 30th and 60th place out of the 139 countries included in the 2010 GCR survey, equivalent to places 20 and 40 on a 100-point scale. This paper examines the veracity of this assertion using 28 existing ranking instruments and creating a composite 100-point ranking scale to locate a selected group of 20 countries. The resulting composite ranking places the US at point 62 on a 100-point scale, scoring 41, 91 and 53 on the economic, environmental and social themes respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Sustainable Leadership, 2014 Salzburg, June 3-6
EditorsLorne Butt, Gayle C. Avery
Place of PublicationPymble, NSW
PublisherInstitute for Sustainable Leadership
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780987461841
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (9th : 2014) - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 3 Jun 20146 Jun 2014


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (9th : 2014)
CitySalzburg, Austria


  • Competitiveness
  • ranking flaws
  • ideology
  • country rankings


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