The trust environment continues to change as information and even mis-information becomes more widely available, more quickly to an increasingly diverse range of stakeholders armed with different levels of understanding, expertise and motives.
Businesses are therefore seen to need to work harder than ever to protect trust and in an increasingly cynical and sceptical environment explicit demonstrations of why a business or business leader should be trusted are seen as key.
This challenge seems to excite rather than daunt senior executives. As trust becomes an ever more scarce commodity, they see its growing value as a way of marking enterprises out from one another and business leaders out from their peers.
Business leaders believe that the public and other stakeholder audiences are growing sceptical and cynical about the claims and actions of businesses. As a result, business leaders are increasingly seeking to prove that they are trustworthy via external or independent certification. Senior executives attribute this development to a range of long-term trends but, in part, believe the behaviour of financial institutions has resulted in all large businesses being viewed more critically.