Internal corporate governance and personal trust

G. J. Rossouw


There are various indications that corporations and their leaders are currently not perceived as trustworthy. This decline in trust is one of the factors that has contributed to the rise of interest in corporate governance. There is an explicit expectation that an adherence to the principles and practice of good corporate governance will bolster the trust of stakeholders in business. It is exactly this expectation that provides the focus for this article. The expectation that good corporate governance will result in higher levels of trust will be critically examined. This will be done by first making some crucial distinctions regarding corporate governance in order to clarify what kind of corporate governance is at stake in the examination that is to follow. Also, with regard to the concept of ‘trust’, a number of important distinctions will be made to clarify what is meant by trust within the context of this paper. Against the backdrop of these distinctions regarding corporate governance and trust, the question will then be refined as to whether, specifically, internal corporate governance can bolster the perceptions of trustworthiness that stakeholders have of business. Principles and practices of internal corporate governance will then be critically examined to determine their potential for enhancing stakeholders’ perceptions of the trustworthiness of corporations and their leaders. 


corporate governance; trust; integrity; transparency; reputation; benevolence; corporate social responsibility

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