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NextGen Magazine


Deloitte Survey Finds Young People Suspicious of Business World

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 16, 2018

A Deloitte survey has found that young people have a jaundiced view toward the business world, reflecting a stark mismatch between what they believe responsible businesses should achieve and what they perceive businesses’ actual priorities to be. The survey polled 10,455 people born between 1983 and 1994, generally known as millennials. 

The survey found that, among millennials: 

* 75 percent agree that businesses focus on their own agendas rather than considering wider society (up from 59 percent last year) 

* 48 percent agree that businesses behave in an ethical manner (down from 65 percent last year) 

* 47 percent agree that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (down from 62 percent last year) 

* 62 percent agree that businesses have no ambition beyond wanting to make money (up from 50 percent last year) 

This indicates a business sector out of step with the values of young people today. They believe that a responsible business is one that makes a positive impact on society and the environment; creates innovative ideas, products and services; creates jobs, develops careers and improves peoples lives; and emphasizes inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Few believe that these are the priorities of their own organizations. Instead they believe their own organizations are concerned with generating profit, driving efficiency, and producing and selling goods and services. 

While these findings might seem bleak, the poll also found that millennials are more likely to think business leaders are having a positive impact on society (44 percent) than either religious leaders (33 percent) or political leaders (13 percent). By contrast, though, leaders of NGOs and not-for-profit organizations are largely seen as having a positive impact on society, with 59 percent saying so.