How might one empirically assess the contribution of business actions to peace?


(Xiangzhong Meng) #121

I agree with you and I think large international companies bear more "responsibilities" to make contribution for world peace because they are more recognized by the population and have more power to make big influences on certain issues regarding to peace. All companies should have the mindset to make contributions to world peace as much as they can and hopefully it can be stated as a necessary part of companies' cultures. However, small companies might have limited abilities to make an impact that most of the population could see. So for small companies, I think we should focus on the mindset building more instead of to count on them to contribute tremendously.

Kabir Bhullar said:

When it comes to business. One has to see the position they are in. Large business are in a position of power. If they say something people will hear it and it they do something people will react. With this, they are in the perfect position to make a difference. Specially in business there is alot of connection with people. This makes sense for businesses to affect and make a change in poverty around the world.


(Julian Batts) #122


I agree with Da Tong. Companies do not all compete on the same metrics in regarding to their contributions to peace which would make it challenging for rankings to reflect legitimate meanings. However, there are some generalized standards that they do compete, therefore, certifying them would allow comparison to be made. In regard to keeping them internally private, I believe this should only occur if the company feels their contributions to peace is carried out as a competitive advantage. Therefore, when internal management is making strategic decisions, they can take into account this advantageous element.


Da Tong said:

Regarding the third question, I think that ranking companies on their contribution to peace is very difficult becuase it is hard to quantify the contribution to peace without a good system. So I agree that we should certify them against some standards just like environmental certificate. With these standards, management in companies will consider contribution to peace when making internal management decisions. Business should play the role of vangurad in developing these approaches. Companies are the first to comply with approaches and their feedback will be very crucial to develop these approaches.


(Meng Yang) #123

I strongly agree with Xiangzhong. Creating a system to measure the contribution to peace for business will matter to companies. If a company want to leave a good impression on hie customers or create a influential culture, it will contribute to peace. However, the measurements to rank the companies' contribution to peace is difficult to figure out, because Contribution to peace is kind of a intangible factor to measure.

Xiangzhong Meng said:

Regarding to the third question, I think creating a system to measure the contribution to peace for business would make it as a competition. In my opinion, this could create a unspoken force for business to at least contribute if they could. It is like creating company culture. Once people start to care, companies will make it as a part of the standards of how to be considered as a great company.


(Murtagh Thinnes) #124

Measuring a company’s contribution to peace can be extremely difficult, particularly because it can be hard to define what that really entails. The most visible and measurable way to contribute would likely be by making charitable contributions to charities involved in war-torn countries that lack a sense of peace and unity. These contributions could be measured, which in turn would allow companies to be ranked. While this would be a step in the right direction, this would lead to the largest and most financially stable companies earning recognition because of the additional capital they can give to charitable organizations. Instead, it would be more appropriate if a group like the World Peace Organization rewarded one or several companies for having the most impactful contributions to peace each year.


(Julian Batts) #125

Referencing question two, some challenges I see with measuring the contributions businesses make to peace involves large businesses outshining small businesses merely on size as oppose to how impactful the contribution is. Just because a company is large does not correlate the reaction of more significant contributions to a business that is small. Additionally, I feel that there could be some conflicting measurements played out in determining what quantifies a higher ranked business - how much contribution is given initially, or how large of an effect does the contribution has on peace. I see businesses that contribute extreme amounts with both elements, but it is challenging to rank one higher than the other.


(Xiangzhong Meng) #126

I totally agree with you and especially on the first question. I think companies have different influences in the society just based on their products and service. Those who produce food, water and other essential commodities are the easiest ones to make an impact because their products directly relate to people's life and needs.

Yinan Wu said:

For the first question, I think that empirical measurement is significant for a company to contribute to create peacemaking, peace building and peace keeping. The physical contribution to poverty, like food and money, is absolutely one form. The invisible form, like the positive influence from a model company is also meaningful. A good empirical measurement could be the reflected by the company’s social effect.

For the second question, the issues could be that contribution is intangible sometimes. No formula and specific standard can be analyzed. If everyone effort is measured, it looks like kind of utilitarian. The feedback is not timely and subjective. For the third question, it is meaningless to rank the contribution cross companies. A common standard may be helpful. I think it is better that is used to internal management decision. Once it goes public, it will easily connect to financial purpose, which is against ethics.


(Meng Yang) #127

For the first question, I agree with Yungian that there are many different ways for companies to contribute to peace. Company can use its social influence to encourage people to contribute to peace by commercial advertisements. For example, company can use partial value of its products selling to donate to the organizations which care homeless people. By doing this, the customers also feel satisfying for both the company and their purchasing.

yunqian gong said:

Thinking of the first question, I would say there are many different ways for companies to contribute to peace. For example, Marketing is a very good way to promote peace to people. Businesses can use social media to share peaceful advertising campaigns. For example, BMW has a Blessing Basket Project, which helps people live in Africa to sell their handmade baskets. BMW makes a lot of advertisements not only on their website but also on TV. Moreover, it is also a good way for companies to contribute to peace by increasing the diversity.


(James Hogan) #128

I think Charlie brings up some good points here. A ranking of companies on how well they contribute to peace would have a positive external effect for society. If companies are not motivated to contribute to peace for the simple reason of bettering society, a ranking system may be enough to motivate them to positively contribute. A ranking system will provide motivation because companies ranked highly will be able to advertise this to stakeholders, ultimately casting the company as one of corporate responsibility. Corporate responsibility attracts better talent and more investors. Furthermore, ranking companies creates competition to continue to improve your rank. Companies will ultimately strive to be as high as they possibly can be in the ranking. A certification, on the other hand, only requires a company to reach a certain level.


Charlie Dickman said:

Thinking of the third question, I think there should be some way to rank companies on how they contribute to peace or the overall wellbeing of society. It has been pretty clear that there macroeconomic effects to a society when a company contributes or harms overall wellbeing, and a company should be rewarded or punished for these actions. I think a ranking would be effective than some sort of certification. A company would aspire to have high rankings because in today's world people care about being in a culture that promotes things like peace and sustainability and a high record would attract the best talent, meaning a company would be more willing to invest in this rather than a certification.


(Murtagh Thinnes) #129

While I agree that ranking companies to expose those with an unethical approach to business would force those that are not ethical to correct themselves, I find it hard to think of how we would be able to identify such companies. Typically those that are acting unethically are doing so unbeknownst to the general public. We see this repeatedly, as evidenced recently in the VW scandal among many others. As a result, it may be more reasonable to emphasize incorporating peaceful and ethical behavior from the start, rather than scrutinizing unethical companies when they are exposed.

Andrew Coen said:

I think you bring up a good point. It is usually not very newsworthy to hear that a company had been performing ethically on a daily basis. Unless a company truly goes above and beyond to do something great, it rarely makes the news. I think instead of ranking the most ethical companies, it may be more newsworthy to rank the least ethical companies. Members at the bottom of the list would be much more likely to become more ethical instead of receiving the bad publicity. And people might be more inclined to read about it since it has the sense of scandal that you brought up.


Mingyu Ye said:

Regard the second/third question, I am afraid that good actions are much less attractive than scandals. How many people are willing to keep following a good action and to see how it ends up with? Scandals like Enron has been mentioned over and over. Leakage of BP, emission scandal of VW, accounts scandal of Wells fargo have proving the passion of people toward scandals as well as the conspiracy behind these. With that being said, the issue of getting constant public attention needs to be addressed.

To build a ranking system, it is necessary to motivate corporations to public their actions and to accept a external review. Just like the process of IPO. Perhaps an investment system can also be duplicated from stock market. Based on contributions to peace, corporations gain virtual assets in the market which can be translated to forecasted growth.


(Meng Yang) #130

For the question two, I strongly agree with Murtagh Thinnes that measuring a company's contribution to peace would be a hard job. Although making contributions to charities should be a visible and measurable way, it is not the fair way to use that measurement. The reason is that the large companies will have much more capital that can give to the charitable organization, but for the small companies, they do contributions to peace by all means, but they do not have enough financial ability to give the charity. So figuring out a good measurement to rank the company in contribution to peace, we need much more complex and objective standards to do rankings, not simply use one kind of method.

Murtagh Thinnes said:

Measuring a company's contribution to peace can be extremely difficult, particularly because it can be hard to define what that really entails. The most visible and measurable way to contribute would likely be by making charitable contributions to charities involved in war-torn countries that lack a sense of peace and unity. These contributions could be measured, which in turn would allow companies to be ranked. While this would be a step in the right direction, this would lead to the largest and most financially stable companies earning recognition because of the additional capital they can give to charitable organizations. Instead, it would be more appropriate if a group like the World Peace Organization rewarded one or several companies for having the most impactful contributions to peace each year.

(Jack Ashby) #131

Looking at the different questions posed, number two stood out to me the most by far. Also it could seem black and white on whether a company is affecting positive or negative change, it may not always be that simple. I believe that there is a grey area on how much a company should be involved in the peace process in general. Some issues with measuring contribution of businesses to peace could be that in many cases the peace in an area can be beyond the companies control. How do we measure a companies impact on peace and compare it to performance in another area that is already safer? With each country having its own unique problems it could be difficult to have a measurement that applies to each situation.


(Jack Ashby) #132

Looking at the different questions posed, number two stood out to me the most by far. Also it could seem black and white on whether a company is affecting positive or negative change, it may not always be that simple. I believe that there is a grey area on how much a company should be involved in the peace process in general. Some issues with measuring contribution of businesses to peace could be that in many cases the peace in an area can be beyond the companies control. How do we measure a companies impact on peace and compare it to performance in another area that is already safer? With each country having its own unique problems it could be difficult to have a measurement that applies to each situation.


(Jack Ashby) #133

Looking at the different questions posed, number two stood out to me the most by far. Also it could seem black and white on whether a company is affecting positive or negative change, it may not always be that simple. I believe that there is a grey area on how much a company should be involved in the peace process in general. Some issues with measuring contribution of businesses to peace could be that in many cases the peace in an area can be beyond the companies control. How do we measure a companies impact on peace and compare it to performance in another area that is already safer? With each country having its own unique problems it could be difficult to have a measurement that applies to each situation.


(Julian Batts) #134

I do understand Jiahui's perspective that contributions to peace cannot be forced, that defeats the purpose of labeling it as a contribution. When standards are set in most things, organizations feel obliged to meet them, otherwise, they face scrutiny for being labeled as unethical or separate from the appropriate group. If however a standard method was to be put into action, I agree with Jiahui's stance on making it public to motivate other companies not meeting the standard to think otherwise. This does not fall into the umbrella of companies being coerced to contribute but it certainly provides pressure for them to ponder the idea of contributing to peace.

Jiahui Wang said:

Donations may be one of the most effective options to measure companies’ contributions. However, there is no appropriate benchmark that works for every business. Company size, industry, location and other important features should also be taken into consideration. For example, it is impossible for some small businesses to make the same amount of donation as large multinational companies do. Therefore, it is unfair to rank companies only based on their financial contributions.

From my point of view, ranking might be a better approach, since we could not set some standards and force companies to make their own contributions to peace. It could be made public in order to let companies have more incentive to give back to society.


(Julian Batts) #135

I do understand Jiahui's perspective that contributions to peace cannot be forced, that defeats the purpose of labeling it as a contribution. When standards are set in most things, organizations feel obliged to meet them, otherwise, they face scrutiny for being labeled as unethical or separate from the appropriate group. If however a standard method was to be put into action, I agree with Jiahui's stance on making it public to motivate other companies not meeting the standard to think otherwise. This does not fall into the umbrella of companies being coerced to contribute but it certainly provides pressure for them to ponder the idea of contributing to peace.

Jiahui Wang said:

Donations may be one of the most effective options to measure companies’ contributions. However, there is no appropriate benchmark that works for every business. Company size, industry, location and other important features should also be taken into consideration. For example, it is impossible for some small businesses to make the same amount of donation as large multinational companies do. Therefore, it is unfair to rank companies only based on their financial contributions.

From my point of view, ranking might be a better approach, since we could not set some standards and force companies to make their own contributions to peace. It could be made public in order to let companies have more incentive to give back to society.


(Ruxu(Reese) lu) #136

Yeah, I agree with you. Companies can align charity with their marketing strategy. Today I just heard the radio advertising while driving of Subway. They are promoting their Thursday event that every customer can buy one sub and get one for free. At the meanwhile, Subway will donate certain amount of money to non-profit organization for every receipt. I think this is a very good example as they brand their sub while giving back to society.

yunqian gong said:

Thinking of the first question, I would say there are many different ways for companies to contribute to peace. For example, Marketing is a very good way to promote peace to people. Businesses can use social media to share peaceful advertising campaigns. For example, BMW has a Blessing Basket Project, which helps people live in Africa to sell their handmade baskets. BMW makes a lot of advertisements not only on their website but also on TV. Moreover, it is also a good way for companies to contribute to peace by increasing the diversity.


(Ryan Backherms) #137

I definitely agree that it will be difficult to measure a company's contribution to peace. I worry that whatever metric that is chosen to represent a companies contribution to peace will be exploited. Some companies will not strive to hit that metric in order to bring peace, but instead to only appear as a company who cares about peace. I believe that determining a metric isn't enough. There should be incentives to make the company want to contribute to peace for the sake of peace.

John Kim said:

Measuring the contribution of the peace is definitely a big challenge as collecting the data may be very difficult. Once the data is found, another problem arises where as to find if the data is actually relevant to be used for the study of measuring the contribution. Once the big companies figure out the formula of showing external good side of the company, the true contribution of the peace is questionable. I agree that the measure of the contribution of the peace can only be comparable through data analytics because it is the factual and evidence that can be compared. However, there still lies the complexity of assessing whether the contribution was with the culture of the company of the brand image making events.

Joana Cruz said:

Assessing the contribution of business actions to peace will need to involve a lot of data gathering. Conflicts or violence may differ per country, area, or even a small community, so it is best to take it into consideration when analyzing those data. A business or an institution will have to identify problems and possible root causes of conflicts or violence in the society, or in a community. After identifying conflicts or violence that has the most impact in that particular area, they can then formulate solutions or improvements for those problems. They can make certain benchmarks they want to achieve, and have a before and after comparison after implementing those probable solutions. It would be difficult to identify just one key solution to conflicts and violence, but rather it would be better to try different approaches and see which combinations will work best for a community.


(Ruxu(Reese) lu) #138

I agree. In many cases, it's a trade off between economic benefit, environment and social responsibility. I used to study the Chiquita Banana case in my global business course. We discuss a lot about Chiquita if this company is ethical or not. Their factories in Mexico payed employee a hourly labor rate that is much lower than the standard. However, at the mean while, Chiquita provided hundreds of jobs to local people so that residents can at least earn some money that actually improved their livings. If Chiquita was closed, all the employees would lose their job and cannot make money anymore to support their daily expense. From this perspective, although Chiquita didn't pay a lot to their employee, they did provide local people the resource of money to survive and eventually led the society to peace.

Lauren Dekker said:

I think Brian brings up some very good points. It will be difficult to measure a company's contributions to peace. Thus, there would need to be a set of standards and evaluation points for companies to be analyzed against. I agree with Brian's other points, but the last one on how businesses that operate in impoverished areas inherently contribute to peace by providing employment is not always true. Sometimes a company enters an impoverished area and needs only a few employees to keep the operation running. In this case, they provide few jobs and reap all the benefits. In the case of oil companies in the Niger Delta, they provided few jobs, polluted the environment and harmed a lot of the population thus leading to the state they are at now--rebels are sabotaging their oil pipes and nothing peaceful is happening there.

Brian Suhre said:

Measuring the contributions of companies to peace is a challenging proposition, mainly because "contributions to peace" can be hard to define. However, there are some metrics that might help. First, charitable donations by companies is perhaps the most obvious metric. This can be further refined by focusing on charities that relate to poverty or operate in war torn countries, like the Red Cross/Crescent. Secondly, companies can be measured based on the number of war-torn or impoverished countries they operate in. This measurement should be augmented by metrics that account for wages, contributions to local charitable organizations, and employee benefits/education efforts. As Victor said, businesses that operate in impoverished areas inherently contribute to peace by providing employment.


(Ryan Backherms) #139

I agree. A set of standards would motivate companies to act ethically. Additionally, I believe that consumers need to seek out companies that meet these standards. If consumers take their business to ethical business that promote peace, then that will be a significant incentive for companies to make contributions to peace. This will improve society as a whole.

Julian Batts said:

I do understand Jiahui's perspective that contributions to peace cannot be forced, that defeats the purpose of labeling it as a contribution. When standards are set in most things, organizations feel obliged to meet them, otherwise, they face scrutiny for being labeled as unethical or separate from the appropriate group. If however a standard method was to be put into action, I agree with Jiahui's stance on making it public to motivate other companies not meeting the standard to think otherwise. This does not fall into the umbrella of companies being coerced to contribute but it certainly provides pressure for them to ponder the idea of contributing to peace.

Jiahui Wang said:

Donations may be one of the most effective options to measure companies’ contributions. However, there is no appropriate benchmark that works for every business. Company size, industry, location and other important features should also be taken into consideration. For example, it is impossible for some small businesses to make the same amount of donation as large multinational companies do. Therefore, it is unfair to rank companies only based on their financial contributions.

From my point of view, ranking might be a better approach, since we could not set some standards and force companies to make their own contributions to peace. It could be made public in order to let companies have more incentive to give back to society.


(Ruxu(Reese) lu) #140

I agree. In many cases, it's a trade off between economic benefit, environment and social responsibility. I used to study the Chiquita Banana case in my global business course. We discussed a lot about Chiquita if this company is ethical or not. Their factories in Mexico payed their employee a hourly rate that is much lower than the standard rate. However, at the mean while, Chiquita provided hundreds of jobs to local people so that residents can at least earn some money that actually improved their livings. If Chiquita was closed, all the employees would lose their job and cannot make money anymore to support their daily expense. From this perspective, although Chiquita didn't pay a lot to their employee, they did provide local people the resource of money to survive and eventually led the society to peace.


Lauren Dekker said:

I think Brian brings up some very good points. It will be difficult to measure a company's contributions to peace. Thus, there would need to be a set of standards and evaluation points for companies to be analyzed against. I agree with Brian's other points, but the last one on how businesses that operate in impoverished areas inherently contribute to peace by providing employment is not always true. Sometimes a company enters an impoverished area and needs only a few employees to keep the operation running. In this case, they provide few jobs and reap all the benefits. In the case of oil companies in the Niger Delta, they provided few jobs, polluted the environment and harmed a lot of the population thus leading to the state they are at now--rebels are sabotaging their oil pipes and nothing peaceful is happening there.

Brian Suhre said:

Measuring the contributions of companies to peace is a challenging proposition, mainly because "contributions to peace" can be hard to define. However, there are some metrics that might help. First, charitable donations by companies is perhaps the most obvious metric. This can be further refined by focusing on charities that relate to poverty or operate in war torn countries, like the Red Cross/Crescent. Secondly, companies can be measured based on the number of war-torn or impoverished countries they operate in. This measurement should be augmented by metrics that account for wages, contributions to local charitable organizations, and employee benefits/education efforts. As Victor said, businesses that operate in impoverished areas inherently contribute to peace by providing employment.