Although my friends view me as an eternal optimist, I am becoming increasingly cynical about the world we live in. And I’m apparently not alone. A survey published by Transparency International showed that less than 10 percent of survey respondents in European countries hit hardest by the region’s debt crisis believe that their governments are doing a good job fighting corruption. According to a New York Times article on the survey, this reflects a “crisis of faith in governments” and a “chasm” between leaders and their citizens. So, can people actually trust governments? This is a business-related monthly column in which I prefer to not touch the field of politics, but this question helps to frame the topic in order to make my points that follow.

Now let’s look at organizations and senior managers. Can they be trusted? I do not mean trusting their ability to maximize profits for their investors and owners, but in a broader sense: to trust their ability to practice good governance, management and ethics.

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