Companies as Peacebuilders: Engaging Communities Through Conflict Resolution
International Conference on Engaging Communities: An Initiative of the United Nations and the Queensland State Government
15 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2006
Corporate citizenship is undergoing a paradigm shift. Business is forced to take greater responsibility for environmental and social issues and more recently, human rights and involvement in intra-state conflict. Where multinationals are accused of complicity in human rights abuse and conflict, they must work with advocates of corporate citizenship and develop community engagement strategies that assist them to build, not reduce, peace.
This paper will outline ways in which business is protecting itself by increasingly engaging its stakeholders, which for some companies can include local communities experiencing violent conflict. In particular, the business imperative for including conflict resolution processes in its community engagement will be shown. Such practices will protect a company in its stakeholder relationships including where a company operates in regions suffering intra-state conflict.
This paper will provide guidance on how business can be a peacebuilder through its community engagement strategies: through its core business, community development initiatives and advocacy on public policy. In the long-term, this may include business acting as a mediator between warring parties through key employees who are not just community engagement experts, but also 'Inter-Track Business Diplomats'.
This paper will present the business case for companies acting as peacebuilders for their profit and long-term growth.
Keywords: Conflict, peacebuilding, business, companies, stakeholder
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation