Edelman president: CEOs must become ‘chief engagement officers’

Trust in business grows while trust in government wanes, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer. It’s time for CEOs to step up and engage, says Richard Edelman.

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If you trust business more than you trust the government, you’re in the majority, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer.

That’s actually been the case for the past five years or so, but the gap in global trust is the largest it’s ever been. In this year’s study, only 44 percent of respondents said they trust their government, while 58 percent said they trust business. In almost half of the 27 countries surveyed, including the United States, the difference was as many as 20 percentage points. In some, it reached up to 40.

“Business may interpret this as the moment to push for deregulation, as it did a decade ago,” according to Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman’s blog post about the study. “That would be a monumental error in judgment.”

Edelman’s survey results bear that out. People may trust business more than government, but they almost universally want more regulation of food, energy, the financial sector, and other industries. About 42 percent of respondents said there isn’t enough regulation, while only 27 percent said there’s too much.

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