I belong to a number of groups on LinkedIn. It is a useful way to stay connected with some of the conversations in the marketplace and my areas of interest. Today I took a survey sponsored by Business Roundtable, Institute for Corporate Ethics conducted by the Catholic University of America. Here is a link to the survey tinyurl.com/3knmr5e
I had my awareness raised in how I make decisions about trust and economics through the process of taking the survey. What I found was that Integrity mattered a lot to me. That congruency also mattered. For example, when a company scored high on benevolence and honesty but low on integrity, I tended to trust less. The incongruity between integrity and honesty was too big a leap for me.
The survey was set up to describe a series of small stories about companies and then sharing the scores the companies had received for qualities such as: Ability, Integrity, Benevolence, Transparency and Profitability. They then asked you to rank on a scale how much you trusted the company and how likely you are to buy from the company. These companies were either in oil and gas, solar or pharmaceuticals.
What I found was that I was willing to purchase from companies where I had a slight degree of mistrust, if they scored significantly higher on ability. (I want my product to work, after all.) I was also less forgiving of pharmaceutical companies with ability. In my mind they have a smaller margin for error.
I also found that profit made a difference. If a company scored well but was not making at least some reasonable level of profit, I questioned their sustainability so I was reluctant to make an investment. That said, if they scored high in ability, integrity and others and were getting a C or better in profitability my trust was higher. I felt that profit was not the driving force so I could trust that they had my interests at heart.
Bottom line for me was that trust plays a significant role in my purchasing decisions up to a point. (I am not sure how I feel about that yet.) And while trust is important, utility also matters. I can trust someone and then recognize that they are inept at delivering the utility I need. In which case I search and select the next best alternative.
Does trust play a role in your buying decisions?
Are you willing to pay a premium for trust?
In addition to your good will are you keeping abilities sharp?