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People Perceive Business as the Most Ethical and Competent Institution, Study Finds

2 minute read

The global communications firm Edelman published its Trust Barometer report earlier this year, revealing that corporate leaders are seen as ‘a stabilising power’ in today’s fragile and polarised world. To conduct this research, Edelman surveyed more than 32,000 people from 28 countries around the globe.



According to Edelman’s research, respondents view business as the only  institution that is both ethical and competent. What is more, this institution has seen an impressive growth in its ethics score, which has increased for the third year in a row and now sits 19 points higher than in 2020. As a result, it now outranks the scores of NGOs, the government, and the media.

Delving deeper into its findings, the global communications firm revealed that respondents value the way corporate leaders put self-interest aside following the outbreak of the pandemic and how they responded to its consequences. In addition to this, they praised the way they responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now, respondents have shared that they businesses to do more and act on social issues, such as climate change and economic inequality, among others.



In its report, Edelman questions whether these increasing expectations pose a risk for the institution and whether people’s trust in business will soon weaken. Edelman’s Vice Chairman, Global Corporate Practice and U.S. Chief Operating Officer Dave Samson discussed this in depth, sharing what the private sector must do to retain the stabilising force it has become.

More specifically, Samson advises business to:

  • Push back against polarisation in pursuit of rational policies.
  • Work across institutions to forge pragmatic solutions.
  • Promote civil discourse by first engaging employees.
  • Distribute trustworthy information.


Download the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer: Navigating a Polarized World report here.

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