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College rates 'trustworthiness' of top Michigan public companies

October 3, 2016
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Kellogg Company is based in downtown Battle Creek. Photo via flickr.com

A local college has released findings from a public-perception survey on the “trustworthiness” of the state’s top 25 publicly traded companies.

The Koeze Business Ethics Initiative at Grand Valley State University said today it randomly surveyed 2,400 Michigan residents about the familiarity, trustworthiness and integrity of the publicly traded companies.

Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company tops the group as the most trustworthy, with a composite score of 3.15, followed by Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation and Dearborn-based Ford Motor Company, each with scores of 3.07.

The survey results are part of a three-year study led by Michael DeWilde, executive director of the GVSU Koeze Business Ethics Initiative, and Kevin Lehnert, GVSU associate professor of marketing.

The duo plans to release a more comprehensive Trustworthiness Index of Michigan companies in 2017.

Methodology

The survey asked respondents how familiar they were with the companies represented and then asked them to rank, on a 1-5 Likert scale, companies on the following two questions: I believe (company) to be trustworthy; I believe (company) to have integrity.

Respondents were asked about three of the top 25 publicly traded companies and one additional company.

The results were weighted and then placed into five groups based on scores, from most trusted to least trusted. Trust was measured by taking the average of the trustworthiness and integrity scores.

Trust survey scores

Group 5

Kellogg Company, Battle Creek (3.15)

Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor (3.07)

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn (3.07)

Group 4

TRW Automotive, Livonia (3.03)

DTE Energy, Detroit (3.02)

Wolverine Worldwide, Rockford (3.02)

Auto-Owners Insurance, Delta Township (3.01)

Penske, Bloomfield Township (3.00)

Ally Financial, Detroit (2.99)

Group 3

Stryker Corporation, Kalamazoo (2.96)

CMS Energy, Jackson (2.93)

BorgWarner, Auburn Hills (2.92)

American Axle, Detroit (2.92)

Autoliv, Auburn Hills (2.91)

Steelcase, Grand Rapids (2.91)

Group 2

Con-way, Ann Arbor (2.90)

Universal Forest Products, Grand Rapids (2.89)

Kelly Services, Troy (2.89)

Cooper-Standard Automotive, Novi (2.87)

Visteon, Van Buren (2.87)

Meritor, Troy (2.84)

SpartanNash, Byron Center (2.79)

Lear Corporation, Southfield (2.79)

Group 1

General Motors, Detroit (2.67)

Dow Chemical, Midland (2.62)

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