Methodology

The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 23rd annual trust and credibility survey. The research was produced by the Edelman Trust Institute and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between November 1st and November 28th, 2022. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled more than 32,000 respondents across 28 countries.

 

 

Social fabric weakens amid deepening divisions

 

A lack of faith in societal institutions triggered by economic anxiety, disinformation, mass-class divide and a failure of leadership has brought us to where we are today – deeply and dangerously polarized.

  • Business is the only institution seen as competent and ethical.
  • Fifty-three percent of respondents globally say that their countries are more divided today than in the past.
  • CEOs are obligated to improve economic optimism and hold divisive forces accountable.

 

Economic optimism collapses

 

People now fear for their economic future without a trust safety net. Only 40% of respondents say they and their families will be better off in five years, a 10-point decline from 2022.

40%

Distrust breeds polarization

Very few would help, live near, or work with someone who disagreed with their point of view:

Only

would help them if they were in need.

Only

would be willing to live in the same neighborhood.

Only

would be willing to have them as a coworker.

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Great expectations result in heightened risk for business

 

Even among those who see their country as polarized, my employer is the only trusted institution. 

 

While people want business to do more on social issues, it risks being politicized when engaging on contentious issues.

 

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The Way Forward

 

1.

Business is expected to act

As the most trusted institution, business should leverage its comparative advantage to inform debate and deliver solutions on climate, DEI, and skill training.

2.

Collaborate with government

Business and government can build consensus and collaborate to deliver results that push us towards a more just, secure, and thriving society.

3.

Restore economic optimism

Invest in fair compensation, training, and local communities to address the mass-class divide and the cycle of polarization.

4.

Advocate for the truth

Be a source of reliable information, promote civil discourse, and hold false information sources accountable.

The Trust 10

 

01

Business is seen
as competent and ethical

01

Business has increased its ethics score for the third straight year, rising 20 points since 2020. It is the only institution viewed as both competent and ethical.

02

Institutional imbalance

02

Globally, there is an 11-point gap between trust in business and trust in government: 62% trust business, while only 51% trust government.

03

Mass class divide
on trust

03

Those in the top quartile of income are more trusting than those considered low income. Double-digit trust inequality exists in 21 of 28 countries surveyed.

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What does this mean for your business? 

Please reach out to learn more about the Edelman Trust Barometer.