May 23, 2023
Updates quarterly

Global Corporate Purpose Tracker

Measuring trust in business and consumer demand for international corporate activism
Net trust in business leaders, large corporations and the tech industry across 16 global markets. “Net trust” is the share of adults in each country who said they trust each category “a lot” or “some” minus the share who said “a little” or “not at all.”

Consumers are demanding new and different kinds of corporate activism. In a world where trust in institutions has been on the retreat and ethical consumerism on the rise, people increasingly look to companies to take action on important geopolitical issues like addressing climate change and cybersecurity, human rights, and forced labor.

To help leaders chart a path forward, Morning Consult’s Global Corporate Purpose Tracker follows consumers’ expectations surrounding corporate activism and gauges global trust in business on a monthly basis across 18 countries, while diving deeper into the expectations of U.S. consumers specifically.

Key Takeaways

  • The addition of Nigeria to the Global Corporate Purpose Tracker reinforces our finding that trust is higher in the developing world. The West African country outranks all others when it comes to adults’ trust in business leaders, corporations and the tech industry, and confirms a trend of developing countries’ populations expressing more trust on all three fronts than adults in developed countries. Given Nigeria’s young and growing population, businesses that are taking a long view of the Nigerian consumer market should be encouraged by this finding.

  • Majorities of adults in all 18 countries surveyed said they prefer to buy from brands that reflect their social values. Similar to our trust finding, Nigerian adults rank near the top in their desire for ethical consumerism, beat out only by Chinese adults. The United States joins Japan and the United Kingdom near the bottom, with 56% of U.S. adults expressing a preference for values-based purchasing, down 4 percentage points since last quarter. As the United States barrels towards the 2024 elections, companies should plan for corporate purpose and related issues to become increasingly politicized in the media.

  • Chinese adults’ elevated demand for ethical consumerism persists. In August 2022, the share of Chinese consumers who said they prefer to purchase from companies aligned with their social values jumped to 79%, marking a 16-point increase from the prior month. The change came just after former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, suggesting that Chinese consumers began viewing corporate behavior through a more nationalistic lens at that time. The shift has proved durable over the past eight months. Companies doing business in China should plan for it to persist as long as bilateral tensions remain high. 

Values-Based Consumerism

Shares of adults who said they “strongly” or “somewhat” prefer to buy goods and services from companies that reflect their social values

Consumer Perceptions of Brands’ Global Awareness

Shares of U.S. consumers who said companies have become more globally aware

Consumer Perceptions of Brands’ Overseas Practices

Shares who said they agree that the brands they frequently buy from employ ethical business practices abroad

U.S. Consumers’ Willingness to Punish Brands for Their Global Practices

Share who said they would “probably” or “definitely” stop purchasing from companies for each of the following reasons:

Consumer Demand for CEO Action

Share of U.S. adults who said it is “very” or “somewhat” important for business leaders to speak out or take action on each of the following issues:

Source of This Data


The Global Corporate Purpose Tracker relies on data collected through Morning Consult’s proprietary survey research capabilities. Interviews are conducted online toward the end of the indicated month. Data are weighted to approximate representative samples of adults in each country.

U.S. data reported in the tracker comes from a monthly survey conducted in the United States among representative samples of roughly 2,200 adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

For all other countries, surveys are conducted monthly among representative samples of roughly 1,000 adults per country, each with an unweighted margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

Morning Consult updated its weights for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Spain, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States in January 2023.

About Morning Consult

Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. Learn more at morningconsult.com.

Email [email protected] to speak with a member of Morning Consult's Geopolitical Risk Analysis team about the Global Corporate Purpose Tracker.

Sonnet Frisbie
Lead Analyst, EMEA

Sonnet Frisbie leads Morning Consult’s geopolitical risk offering for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Morning Consult, Sonnet spent over a decade at the U.S. State Department specializing in issues at the intersection of economics, commerce and political risk in Iraq, Central Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds an MPP from the University of Chicago.

Follow her on Twitter @sonnetfrisbie. Interested in connecting with Sonnet to discuss her analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].