Nearly seven in ten consumers polled by ICM said transparency had become a more significant factor in the wake of high-profile cases, such as the News of the World phone-hacking investigation, the outrage over MPs' expenses and the banking crisis.
Commissioned by Cohn & Wolfe, the survey of 1,000 UK consumers revealed that 52% believed big businesses 'divulge only what they need for regulatory purposes'.
The findings come as the BBC faces intense scrutiny over the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse expose and Newsnight's cancellation of an investigative report into Savile that had been readied last year.
47% of 18- to 24-year-olds said that, by 2020, they expected all CEOs and senior business leaders to be accessible on social media 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Scott Wilson, Cohn & Wolfe UK CEO, said: 'In today's world of social commerce and customer relationship management, transparency is now becoming a powerful business tool.'