Values, moral, and ethics (VME) are a key component of a company’s long-term success. A breakdown of VME within society risks social upheaval which may devastate businesses.
The January 2020 Edelman Global Trust Barometer1 has disturbing statistics:
- 56% of people believe capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good.
- Less than 20% of people agree the system is working for them.
- Less than 1/3 of people in developed markets believe they and their family will be better off in five years time,
- 66% of people do not believe that current leaders will be able to successfully address their countries problems.
- 54% of people believe business serves the interests of only the few. 29% believe business serves the interests of everyone equally and fairly.
- 57% of people believe government serves the interests of only the few. 30% believe government serves the interests of everyone equally and fairly.
6 surveys done in 2018 by Professors Michael Bang Petersen, Mathias Osmundsen, and Kevin Arceneaux2 revealed:
- 24% of the American public agreed “society should be burned to the ground”
- 40% of the American public agreed “we cannot fix the problems in our social institutions we need to tear them down and start over” and “when it comes to our political and social institutions, I cannot help thinking ‘just let them all burn’”.
- Key findings include: people are so discontent that they do not care about truth; people deliberately share false and hostile rumours on social media with the goal ”to mobilize the audience in pursuit of chaos.”
My personal observation is that if people believe their interests are not being looked after by institutions and society, then the sense of frustration can lead to tearing them down. I wonder if politicians, CEOs, and boards of directors understand the long-term implications of their actions to destroy the public’s trust in them.
1 Jan 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, executive summary, https://www.edelman.com/sites/g/files/aatuss191/files/2020-01/2020%20Edelman%20Trust%20Barometer%20Executive%20Summary_Single%20Spread%20without%20Crops.pdf
2 Professors Michael Bang Petersen, Mathias Osmundsen, and Kevin Arceneaux “A ‘Need for Chaos’ and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies”. In 2019 won the award for best paper in the Political Psychology division of the American Political Science Association.