Opinion

Amid A Threat To Democracy, How Companies Can Rebuild Trust

Michael Posner

By Michael Posner

By Michael Posner

Reflecting on his lifetime of success in government and business, George Shultz recently wrote that “trust is the coin of the realm.” Unfortunately, in the United States, trust in government is deteriorating rapidly. That’s according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, released just today.

Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firms, found that the run-up to the November presidential election and its bitter aftermath were especially corrosive in terms of trust in government. The survey also revealed that “trust in all news sources has hit record lows,” especially news disseminated via social media.

Reflecting on these stark deficits, the Edelman report concludes that “business has emerged as the last institution standing; the only one rated as both competent and ethical, 50 points ahead of government on competence and approaching NGOs on ethics.” Two-thirds of respondents to the Edelman survey said that corporate “CEOs should step in when government does not fix societal problems.” 

Read the full Forbes article.
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Michael Posner is a Professor of Business and Society and Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.