Two-thirds of institutional investors from mutual funds to hedge funds to pension plans are saying companies are listening to them more than they did three years ago.

At the same time, 52 public companies are reporting their interactions with investors are more constructive, according to a recently released poll by Institutional Shareholder Services for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute.

The study attributed the willingness of corporate officers and boards to reach out to investors to an acknowledgement they are more likely to win shareholder support if they are not seen as out of touch or unresponsive.

In the poll, several investors said they have become more upbeat in their dealings with companies because of an increased willingness of executives and directors to work with them and to make changes in response to their concerns.

The investors surveyed said they had their greatest success in interacting with companies by limiting their inquiries to matters directly related to the stock’s price.

“One asset manager, while conceding that the positive responses she gets from issuers 'could be rhetoric,' stressed the importance of proactively getting investors' message through to the company,” the report said.

The number of “super engagers,” institutional investors contacting companies at least 10 times in a year, has surged to 55 percent in 2013 from 31 percent in 2010 in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act requirement that public companies hold an advisory shareholder vote at least every three years on management compensation. Another factor cited for the rise was that activists have been making great efforts to appeal to mainstream investors on social and environmental issues as well as on stock performance.

The research was done with an online poll of 82 institutional investors and 133 U.S. listed companies from last September through December and in-depth interviews of 25 investors and 20 issuers from November 2013 to February 2014.