Over 4 in 5 Executives Say Government Should Have a Role in Regulating Emerging Technologies, According to Protiviti-Oxford University Survey

69% of North American Business leaders believe that their government will have a positive impact on their business, outpacing Europe and Asia-Pacific

MENLO PARK, Calif. and LONDON, May 2, 2024 – Half of global business leaders expect their government will have a positive impact on their companies’ success over the next decade, according to the results of a new survey conducted by global consulting firm Protiviti in collaboration with the University of Oxford. The survey, titled “Executive Outlook on the Future of Government, 2030 and Beyond,” is part of the newest installment of VISION by Protiviti, the thought leadership series that focuses on the future of business through 2030 and beyond.

The coming year features important elections in numerous major countries, and the outcomes will determine government’s stance toward business and the economy for the next several years. Executives and business leaders must be prepared for a range of outcomes on a myriad of issues.

Emerging technology is one of the most pressing issues that administrations will need to address. Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain are expected to substantially transform the public sector, and 82% of executives expect their government to play a role in regulating technologies that can disrupt democracies, such as AI and deepfakes. Government intervention will be critical to retaining society’s trust as misinformation remains a concern heading into election season.

“Government action in pressing matters like global economics, regulation and technology have a significant bearing on the business climate,” said Cory Gunderson, Protiviti’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Solutions. Survey results show that executives are largely confident that governments can play a positive role in driving future growth by providing the support needed to successfully navigate uncertain times.” 

Governments play a role in a healthy economy 

As economic uncertainty persists globally, business leaders expect their governments to play an important role. Four in five (80%) of executives say they expect the government to have at least a moderate level of involvement in controlling economic growth, unemployment and inflation by managing demand and money. In fact, only 3% of business leaders expect government to have “no involvement at all.” 

Executives are even more bullish when it comes to correcting market failures caused by either financial conditions or discriminatory action. Nearly nine in ten (87%) say their government should play a role in correcting these failures through regulation, taxation, subsidies and/or by providing public goods, with about a quarter of survey respondents (24%) saying that this role should be significant.

“There is little doubt, the survey shows executives believe government can, and will, play a big role in determining the extent of their business success over the next decade,” says Dr. David Howard, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. “Business leaders believe in the government’s ability to do big things: everything from creating a positive economic environment, controlling inflation and preventing market failures to helping form a just and fair society, regulating emerging technologies and protecting citizens’ privacy.”

“Overall, the survey findings reveal a high level of positive business sentiment about the future of government, a desire for stronger public services and a belief that government should take a leading role in solving society’s biggest problems," says Charles Dong, Protiviti’s Global Public Sector industry lead. “Global business leaders are, rightfully so, fully aware and quite concerned about the potential impact of inefficient and ineffective government policies on their economic interests, as well as their company’s bottom line.”

North American executives are more optimistic than their global counterparts

Across categories, North American executives have a higher level of faith and trust in the government’s ability to affect change and create a business-friendly environment than their European and Asian-Pacific counterparts. When asked if their government will have a positive impact on their business, 69% of North American executives said yes, significantly higher than 40% in Europe and 36% in Asia-Pacific. 

North American business leaders are also more likely to participate in a public-private partnership with a government entity over the next 10 years, with 34% of North American executives considering that type of collaboration, vs 19% of Asia-Pacific leaders and just 12% of European leaders sharing that sentiment.

The study surveyed 250 board members, C-suite executives and other business leaders in 14 countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific representing more than 25 industries. Survey data was collected in February and March 2024.

Learn More About the Future of Government, 2030 and Beyond

The survey report, “Executive Outlook on the Future of Government, 2030 and Beyond” is available for complimentary download at VISION by Protiviti. The site also features additional content developed by Protiviti around the future of government, including:

More on the future of government coming May 9—The VISION by Protiviti webinar: A New Social Contract: Cultivating ‘Government for Good’ in a Rapidly Changing World

About The University of Oxford

Established in 2018, the Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation (GCHU) at Kellogg College, University of Oxford, brings together leading and influential thinkers in an interdisciplinary approach embracing evidence-based healthcare, sustainable urban development, and education, and provides a collaborative forum for organisations active in these disciplines. The GCHU asks vital questions on the role of cities in healthcare and wellbeing to better understand the impact and consequences of urbanisation, trains and informs the next leaders in healthcare and urbanisation to nurture the highest standards, and undertakes research and scholarship at the intersection of healthcare and urbanisation to inform recommendations for future practice.

About Protiviti

Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Protiviti and its independent and locally owned member firms provide clients with consulting and managed solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, digital, legal, HR, risk and internal audit through a network of more than 90 offices in over 25 countries.


Named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list list for the 10th consecutive year, Protiviti has served more than 80 percent of Fortune 100 and nearly 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The firm also works with government agencies and smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.