According to the 2017 Edelman Trust barometer, public trust in society’s key institutions has never been lower. In its global survey of 33,000 people, Edelman revealed that the credibility of CEOs had dropped 12 points year-on-year to an all-time low of 37%. Least trusted (by just 29% of respondents) are government leaders, while the media is trusted by only 43%. More than half (53%) of participants believe our current system of governance is unfair.
Edelman CEO Richard Edelman described the 2008 recession as the first wave of a tsunami, followed by waves of globalisation and technical change. “The consequence is virulent populism and nationalism, as the mass population has taken control away from the elites,” he said.
His hypothesis is supported by professor Veronica Hope Hailey, dean of the school of management at the University of Bath, and long-time researcher into the issues of trust in business.
“The financial crisis was a volcano moment, emblematic of something more general. Before 2008, trust in executives and organisations was already declining,” she says.
“People didn’t doubt the competence of managers, but already had reservations about their benevolence and integrity. We’ve made progress but we’re still falling down on these areas.”