Most Innovative Companies: The Methodology

Take a look behind the rankings to see how BusinessWeek and BCG came up with this year's list of the most innovative companies

BusinessWeek's 2009 ranking of the World's 25 Most Innovative Companies is based mostly on a Boston Consulting Group survey. In December 2008, BCG sent its 20-question poll to senior executives around the globe. The 2,700 respondents, who answered anonymously, were asked to name corporations that consistently offer inventive products, customer experiences, business models, or processes. The votes of executives who chose their own employers were disqualified.

BCG then factored in the financial performance of the top vote-getters. The final list weighted the survey results 80%, stock returns 10%, and three-year revenue and margin growth 5% each. In the case of privately held companies, BusinessWeek used metrics equal to industry performance to compare financial data.

Apple (AAPL) again tops the roster, as it has since BusinessWeek and BCG presented the first list in 2005, but there was plenty of movement below. There are six newcomers to the top 25—Samsung (No. 16), Volkswagen (No. 18), McDonald's (MCD) (No. 19), AT&T (T) (No. 23), Coca-Cola (KO) (No. 24), and Vodafone (VOD) (No. 25). They replaced General Motors (GM), Boeing (BA), Goldman Sachs (GS), 3M (MMM), Target (TGT), and Facebook.

The extended list of the top 50 includes new members from Asia and Europe as well, including India's Infosys (INFY) (No. 26), LG of South Korea (No. 27), Spain's Telefónica (No. 28), and Lenovo of China (No. 46).

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