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

(John Kim) #141

I agree to your answer that it is difficult to quantify the measure of how much the peace was contributed by the companies. It really depends on the self-confidence, and self-esteem of the employees of the companies that has to accumulate to become one's culture and the indicative measure of peace contribution. Standards like you said should be in place to have adequate amount of measurement for the standardization, but that doesn't mean it is an absolute measure to see the outcome or the result.

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.

(Troy Adams) #142

I agree that it is difficult to measure contribution, but I think it is also extremely important to monitor where exactly those contributions are going as well. I would rather have companies donate to an organization that you know 90% of the funds are directly affecting the region rather than an organization that doesn't specify how the money is split or how much actually gets used. Making a list of certified organizations would be key for a plan like this.

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.

(Troy Adams) #143

There is a theory that states if a company is left to pursue selfish goals they will inevitably end up helping the public. Even if their goal is to maximize profit, being a company with a good reputation stands to profit more than one that does not. So a company could either do something for the right reason or not, but no matter what, if they want to be as successful as possible the public will end up gaining benefit.

Mingyu Ye said:

For the first question: By definition, "Empirically" means relying on or derived from observation or experiment, verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment. I believe that one method of measuring contributions of companies to peace is to compare their actions among different scenarios. For example, different countries are a good measurement to tell what a company is doing the right thing for. Nike has been paying a premium wage to its labors in Unite States, not to mention other benefits. Its working conditions in other countries, especially those developing countries, are hard to be considered beneficial to peace. The rationale behind this is that the purpose of actions. Is a company doing something good because it is right thing to do, or just because it gains more profit? It needs more discussion.

(James Nelsen) #144

I think your statement is one of the more difficult aspects of this issue. It is an incredibly gray area and you cant measure every company with the same, or even a similar yard stick. In some countries different actions need to be taken to bring about peace and help a situation. Some need direct aid, some need economic stimulation. If we defined it there may be negative consequences. This would become another race to the top where people are more worried about rankings then doing good. Regardless of the measurement we apply to "peace", it would too narrowly define it and create a glut of that definition being pumped into the system. I believe because of this the information should be private and related to management decisions. One option around this is that governments could ramp up partnerships with corporations with positive marketing and other incentives.

Jack Ashby said:

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.