Why business should stop trying to win back trust

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Speaking a panel discussion under the title Loss of trust in the business world: can it be restored?, organised by the Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance, Robert Phillips argued restoring trust – or even trustworthiness – in business is a meaningless aim.

Robert joined a panel with: Michael Skapinker, Associate Editor, Financial Times; Alison Cottrell, CEO, Banking Standards Board, and Peter Montagnon, Associate Director of the Institute of Business Ethics.


“Whether in corporate communications or in politics, the word ‘trust’ is often used in a vacuous way. It is doubtful if ‘business’, or ‘the business world’ – both abstract concepts – can be trustworthy. People can be trustworthy. If in reality people in a given business are not honest, reliable, competent at any one time, then there is no reason to trust them.”


Highlights from the event, and third-party coverage are detailed below.


Video highlights from the FT | IE CLA:


Michael Skapinker’s article for the FT, based on the discussion:


A separate write-up of the event is available on the IEDP site:


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