Why might business contribute to peace?


(Megan Welch) #141

This reminds me of something that I discussed last week. Someone asked what first steps can businesses take to promote peace and I responded by saying that they should recruit c-level managers who truly align with the corporate strategy and the act of doing good. If we start at the top, then the company's employees will follow suit and they will be treated more fairly. This would create a snowball effect because the employees will be more likely to exhibit good ethical behavior around their friends and family since they don't feel the need to cheat or commit unfair practices while they are on the job. I believe that starting at the executive level of every business and promoting socially aware mangers will eventually lead to the expansion of peace throughout the world. If this becomes common practice, then businesses only focusing on the bottom line will slowly become extinct or start changing their corporate strategy.

Camden Newton said:

I agree with your two ideas about why a business might contribute to peace. With that being said, most organizations are primarily only focused on the bottom line and being a successful company. I think it would be hard to convince businesses to start making huge efforts towards peace. A company cares the most about its success so I believe, that is the most important motivator for continuing peace in the future. As Tim Fort noted, respecting employees and treating them fairly contributes to peace. If companies can end the old practices of discrimination based on age, gender, race, and other factors than it can help businesses. By creating an inclusive workforce and hiring people based on qualifications rather than physical differences improves peace as well as the bottom line. The incremental approach also plays a role in this because taking small steps towards overall peace will change the environment and hopefully become common practice. If this is the case peace will eventually be reached and businesses might not even notice they are doing it.


(Claire Theodorescu) #142

Businesses that currently exist in areas of unrest might go out of business with the improvement of the economy in a country. The increase in peace will be a gateway for companies to enter into the country and intertwine into the area's culture, but current business might lose market share as the goods and services they are providing will not be demanded by the society as a whole. I think as a country's society changes, businesses must adapt which causes changes in the current business environment. If companies adapt appropriately, they will be able to stay in business and gain market share.

Emily Wilets said:

Businesses should just take a look at areas of unrest and see how they have grown since the rougher times. Thinking of places where peace may not be a given, one common theme is trying to help the economy. A popular vision that political and diplomatic leaders have when trying to help their country is to first help their economy, which leads back to business. The best practice is to make safe decisions that help raise profits and improve the economy for the entire country. A very important part of any organization/community/country/etc is their economy, and very little improvement can be made before the economy starts to rise again. Businesses are key in developing a country and their future successes, so it is important that they are on board with the peace efforts before everyone pushes forward to a hopefully peaceful future.


(Dylan Raghunandan) #143

I think that in general, we are on a path to near complete corporate transparency, given the stark increase in usage of social media and people taking matters into their own hands to report on or whistleblow on companies that contribute to peace or possibly even take away from it. For the most part, I believe that this elevated societal awareness is beneficial to society. This is because, generally speaking, most companies will not take actions to contribute peace to society unless they feel like they have to, akin to the hard trust that Professor Fort has talked about. We’ve seen how this hard trust has made the world better, from the time when Apple used to be a huge polluter and made their products with an eco-unfriendly process, and eventually came under scrutiny and are now one of the most eco-friendly companies in the tech industry. From Apple’s efforts, the areas in China in which they have factories are not polluted nearly as much. This same hard trust can also make the world worse off, because companies can attempt to gain the hard trust from the population in a deceitful way. One example of this is when BP made a minimal investment in solar panels and rebranded themselves as a “green” company when they really were not. That encourages BP to do whatever they want, and damage the environment more, like the careless oil spill that happened a few years ago. In closing, I feel that there are mostly good things by companies contributing to peace, but sometimes companies only look like they are, and that can have a net negative on society and the planet.


(Abdi Malik O. Ismail) #144

Business is obliged to contribute to peace because we all know that business will not thrive, grow or even survive without peaceful environment. Embarking from this Somalia because of its overextended civil strive /restlessness has witnessed practical case studies on how the business people managed to contribute to maintain peace if not all the country but at least in their villages,towns or even regions. A good example is in Hargiesa, Kismayu towns where business owners immensely contributed to maintain and build peace. In this two towns business owners made a monthly contribution to organise youth who acted as police force and who have set their rules and structures to maintain peace in the town. What is more because of the money they collected they created anti-corruption commission and under this umbrella they managed to form democratically elected city council and accordingly were able to open schools, hospitals educate children and even champion peace in the country without government backup.

Secondly, I sincerely beleive by strengthening social deeds to help communities and create jobs ,business can expect economic growth and inspire peaceful community.


(Dylan Raghunandan) #145

I also talked about the greenwashing of BP, and I do agree that generally, business will do the minimum they can to make a difference. I do think they temporarily got away with trying to look more green than they actually were, even though people who did research on the company found out otherwise. Since greenwashing they started to cut more costs on offshore drilling, and that happened from cultivating a careless corporate culture. This happened because less people were on their case. This is a perfect example of how profit is pretty much the only reason why most, if not all, companies are willing to contribute to peace. I think that there is profit to be made from contributing to peace, but it is definitely a long-term investment that many C-suite professionals aren't always believing in.

Megan Welch said:

I also agree with the fact that profit is the largest reason for why businesses contribute to peace. However, if a company truly only cares about profit, I think that they would do the bare minimum to contribute to peace because they want to reduce costs as much as possible. Like Julia Riveria said, contributing to peace is the cost of doing business which implies that it can make or break a business. I think that some businesses are generally good at pretending that they are sustainable or socially responsible in order to improve their branding but they don't make enough effort to be on the same level as their competitors. It's all about the strength of the branding message and how their consumers respond. For example, BP tried to get away with green-washing by branding itself as "green" to appeal to its investors. Obviously, they didn't get away with those practices but it makes me wonder how many companies make up their statistics on sustainable or socially responsible practices such as volunteering or charitable donations.

Young Jin Kim said:

I agree that profit is key factor that impacts company's decision to contribute to peace. I also believe that a company that really cares about creating peace would be the one that seek to maximize the profit of all related stakeholders and create sustainable environment where everyone can benefit. Typical stakeholders of a company are employees, shareholders, consumers, suppliers...etc. The fact that company chase after profit itself does not tell me that this company is creating peace because they could be harming some of its stakeholders to achieve their goal. i think it is more about the process they adopt to reach goal that determines whether they are worthy of being called peace promoting company.

Julia Rivera said:

I believe that profit is largest reasoning for why business contribute to peace. The purpose of a business is to be profitable and many business see profit coming from peace bringing initiatives. Many companies are more profitable when they publicly boost of their efforts. Many consumers are interested in purchasing products from businesses that support peace efforts. There are many companies that have sustainable efforts because they feel that it is the right thing to do but in the end the most influential aspect is profit.


(Dylan Raghunandan) #146

You mentioned that companies can contribute to peace by not expending any extra money. You also say that they can do this by adding jobs, and that eventually contributes to peace. Adding extra jobs cost the company extra money however, so I must say that I disagree with your statement that companies can add to peace without money. I think that peace costs money, but spending that money to contribute to peace can eventually culminate in extra profits, more than the money spent to contribute to peace. Also, it's illegal to accept bribes, so I wouldn't say this contributes to peace by not accepting them, but rather just doesn't detract from peace, in my opinion.

Yunzhu Shen said:

I agree with your opinion that there will be many benefits for companies which contribute to peace. As you said at first, businesses can actively contribute to peace in many ways. However, I do not think every company knows their possible connection with peace and what they can do to contribute. It is actually really simple for a company to contribute to peace even without any extra expense. When a company provides job offers for people, it helps reduce the unemployment rate, improve the stability of the living environment and therefore contribute to peace. When a company refuses to accept bribes, it also helps create a peaceful environment. So I think it can be a motivation for companies if they realize the importance of peace for their businesses and the little cost of peace contribution.


Jordan Bernstein said:

Businesses actively contribute to peace in many ways. Businesses can create programs in which people can directly affect peace. Corporate values drive the reason behind starting these types of programs. Motivations for holding true to their corporate values will help them in the long-run. The fact that it will help the business in the long-run seems is the strongest motivation. Although businesses are in business to make a profit, in areas of concern they cannot help but contribute because it may affect their business. If things become restless then the markets can take a hit. Contribution to peace is positive for the macroeconomic view as well as the specific firm because the opposite of peace can have a global impact. In addition, a company can improve their reputation by making efforts towards peace. Becoming a consumer’s favorite brand for these types of initiatives tend to get rewarded with sales and attention. This attention can create more customers. I think this motivation will be the most important in the future because it is viewed positively by consumers and it aligns with the companies' values, but also creates peace.


(Dylan Raghunandan) #147

I agree with you here, the heightened awareness of society si often seen as a bad thing, but it definitely goes both ways. There are companies that only make as much profit as they do because they purposely spend more money than others on being socially responsible, like Whole Foods and Starbucks, and charge prices that are decidedly higher than the value of the people that are investing in that brand, thus creating profit. I think the positives of an aware society outweighs the negatives.

Bryce Smith said:

In today's society of mass media and information sharing, companies are in the public eye now more than ever. With that being said, I think a company who puts their resources into promoting a more peaceful world has a lot more to gain than a similar company in the past. On the flip side, a company who disregards this has a lot more to lose than ever before. In recalling The Ring of Gyges in Plato's Republic, I think this plays a large part into the reasons behind why business as a whole would want to contribute to peace.


(Xiyu Zhang) #148

Personally, I think sustainability, reputation, corporate culture, social responsibility and law enforcement motive business to contribute to peace. Among all these motivations, I think sustainability is most important in the future because every business wants to stay and to have competitive advantages in its industry as much as it could. No companies would plan to just operate for a couple of years and then disappeared. Therefore, how to operate a company and make it unbeatable and a role model in the industry is the core of its business management, which means long-term plan plays a significant role. So companies, especially large companies have realized the importance of a stable environment and peaceful society for them to further develop. A positive way for them to get involved in the peace-building process is taking social responsibility such as protecting environment, increasing employment rate and improving welfares. All these are sustainable but usually take decades to fully accomplish. But "green entrepreneurs" would like to be role models encouraging other people who are capable to contribute to social welfare and scientific R&D to join them into the campaign of building and keeping peace.


(Zhenyuan Xia) #149

I believe that every business might contribute to peace, because companies can increase business opportunities and earn support from societies. Further, companies are willing to assist peacemaking efforts in order to enhance their risk management abilities and reduce the costs of conflicts. Conflict is very expensive for business, for example, high security costs or suspended operations. This is a key factor led companies to engage in peace process. So in most cases, be profit and be social responsible is not conflict. Economic and infrastructure development, education, training and human rights are all contributions that companies can try to make.


(Alec Engblom) #150

This is an interesting take on why businesses would feel the need to contribute to peace. Everyone always points out the positives peace time would have on a company, but the threat of conflict and the increased costs it would bring with far outweighs the positives. In times of war people feel less inclined to spend additional income on consumer goods, instead electing to buy only the necessity, Likewise, companies must increase their costs and reduce their potential market, especially for international businesses.

Zhenyuan Xia said:

I believe that every business might contribute to peace, because companies can increase business opportunities and earn support from societies. Further, companies are willing to assist peacemaking efforts in order to enhance their risk management abilities and reduce the costs of conflicts. Conflict is very expensive for business, for example, high security costs or suspended operations. This is a key factor led companies to engage in peace process. So in most cases, be profit and be social responsible is not conflict. Economic and infrastructure development, education, training and human rights are all contributions that companies can try to make.


(Darrek Crissler) #151

Your insight on how businesses contribute to peace reminds me of the "Triple Bottom Line," which consists of three P's: people, profit, and planet. Internationally, a corporation that I see contributing to peace, through aiding the people within their international business environment, is Walmart. Walmart is very well known for having an efficient supply chain, which enables them to large profits. Walmart proactively assists their global partners through promotion of human rights, ending human trafficking, supporting enhanced worker conditions, humane wages, etc., because it creates a stable environment for their international supply chain. Alleviating poverty and aiming to combat social ills do not only contribute to peace, but also are beneficial to long-term growth for profits.

Zhenyuan Xia said:

I believe that every business might contribute to peace, because companies can increase business opportunities and earn support from societies. Further, companies are willing to assist peacemaking efforts in order to enhance their risk management abilities and reduce the costs of conflicts. Conflict is very expensive for business, for example, high security costs or suspended operations. This is a key factor led companies to engage in peace process. So in most cases, be profit and be social responsible is not conflict. Economic and infrastructure development, education, training and human rights are all contributions that companies can try to make.


(Darrek Crissler) #152

As businesses move from a pure focus on shareholder value to “shared” value for all stakeholders, what implications does this have for why and how they can contribute to peace

Over the years, we have seen businesses shift from a pure focus on shareholder value to "shared" value for all stakeholders. In more underlying terms, this represents a shift from pure means of profit toward to betterment and maximum benefits provides to all stakeholders of a business's operation. Through means of Corporate Social Responsibility, we seen corporations building and strengthening relationships by giving back to the international communities to which they operate in. This ultimately lays the groundwork for increased cross-border trade, which by the liberal International relations theory is a more effective means to an end relative to warfare. Corporations also may benefit their international partners by demonstrating environmentally friendly practices, which show respect for the country hosting operations.

More often than not, 3rd world countries are unstable due to poor socioeconomic conditions, which is not exactly good for peace. By operating with an international presence, corporations have the ability to enable more people access to capital on scales that cannot be attained in more developed countries.


(Zhenyuan Xia) #153

I strongly agree that profit is a very important reason why business contribute to peace. Through being ethical and engaging in peace process, companies can avoid a large amount of cost caused by conflicts and earn customer loyalties and earn a larger profit. But I don't agree with that this is the probably the only reason companies do this. I believe this is kind of like the "Good Trust" compared to "Real Trust" thing. Some companies actually don't really care about the cost and profit when they contribute to peace. For example, the Patagonia implemented a plan that encourage customers to consume less and offer free repair services which incurred a huge cost and actually risk the profitability of the whole company. I believe those actions are beyond the profit level and some business really care about this and willing to save the planet.

Dylan Raghunandan said:

I also talked about the greenwashing of BP, and I do agree that generally, business will do the minimum they can to make a difference. I do think they temporarily got away with trying to look more green than they actually were, even though people who did research on the company found out otherwise. Since greenwashing they started to cut more costs on offshore drilling, and that happened from cultivating a careless corporate culture. This happened because less people were on their case. This is a perfect example of how profit is pretty much the only reason why most, if not all, companies are willing to contribute to peace. I think that there is profit to be made from contributing to peace, but it is definitely a long-term investment that many C-suite professionals aren't always believing in.

Megan Welch said:

I also agree with the fact that profit is the largest reason for why businesses contribute to peace. However, if a company truly only cares about profit, I think that they would do the bare minimum to contribute to peace because they want to reduce costs as much as possible. Like Julia Riveria said, contributing to peace is the cost of doing business which implies that it can make or break a business. I think that some businesses are generally good at pretending that they are sustainable or socially responsible in order to improve their branding but they don't make enough effort to be on the same level as their competitors. It's all about the strength of the branding message and how their consumers respond. For example, BP tried to get away with green-washing by branding itself as "green" to appeal to its investors. Obviously, they didn't get away with those practices but it makes me wonder how many companies make up their statistics on sustainable or socially responsible practices such as volunteering or charitable donations.

Young Jin Kim said:

I agree that profit is key factor that impacts company's decision to contribute to peace. I also believe that a company that really cares about creating peace would be the one that seek to maximize the profit of all related stakeholders and create sustainable environment where everyone can benefit. Typical stakeholders of a company are employees, shareholders, consumers, suppliers...etc. The fact that company chase after profit itself does not tell me that this company is creating peace because they could be harming some of its stakeholders to achieve their goal. i think it is more about the process they adopt to reach goal that determines whether they are worthy of being called peace promoting company.

Julia Rivera said:

I believe that profit is largest reasoning for why business contribute to peace. The purpose of a business is to be profitable and many business see profit coming from peace bringing initiatives. Many companies are more profitable when they publicly boost of their efforts. Many consumers are interested in purchasing products from businesses that support peace efforts. There are many companies that have sustainable efforts because they feel that it is the right thing to do but in the end the most influential aspect is profit.


(Ken Li) #154

Business benefits often motivate businesses to promote peace. First, companies that promote peace are often rewarded by the government with tax deductions. For example, companies that donate old supplies to Goodwill will receive charitable tax deductions on their next tax payments. Second, as consumers become more socially conscious, it is beneficial for companies promote peace and thereby attracting more customers. TOMS Shoes's business model of one donation per sale has helped the company to build a loyal customer base. Finally, employees would take pride in their companies' rightful actions, thus growing workforce loyalty and productivity.


(Elizabeth O'Daniel) #155

I agree with you completely on those things that you said are most important to motivating a business to contribute to peace. However, besides sustainability, I also think in regards to the future that reputation would be most important as well. A company's reputation is vital for their business to succeed in the future. No one wants to give business to a company that has been seen as unethical or socially irresponsible in the media. Your reputation is how you get your business to grow through referrals and goodwill. Therefore, besides sustainability, I think a company's reputation can give them a huge competitive advantage other competitors. People listen and take to heart what other people say, so it is very important for customers and talk highly about your products and services in order to be successful. And one other thing going off what you said is that I think all companies need to take initiative to become environmentally conscious. In this century people need to understand that our actions are going to affect the next generations so it is more important than ever to take necessary steps to help save our environment.

Xiyu Zhang said:

Personally, I think sustainability, reputation, corporate culture, social responsibility and law enforcement motive business to contribute to peace. Among all these motivations, I think sustainability is most important in the future because every business wants to stay and to have competitive advantages in its industry as much as it could. No companies would plan to just operate for a couple of years and then disappeared. Therefore, how to operate a company and make it unbeatable and a role model in the industry is the core of its business management, which means long-term plan plays a significant role. So companies, especially large companies have realized the importance of a stable environment and peaceful society for them to further develop. A positive way for them to get involved in the peace-building process is taking social responsibility such as protecting environment, increasing employment rate and improving welfares. All these are sustainable but usually take decades to fully accomplish. But "green entrepreneurs" would like to be role models encouraging other people who are capable to contribute to social welfare and scientific R&D to join them into the campaign of building and keeping peace.


(Libby Hilger) #156

In addition to the reasons already stated of why a business might contribute to peace, a business also might do so in order to build a reputation of being socially responsible. Besides the good that is done by being socially responsible, there are also benefits to simply being known as a socially responsible company. For example, certain investors are attracted to, and only invest in, theses types of companies. They only invest their money in socially responsible companies, so by acting in a socially responsible manner, a business targets a new group of investors. This group of investors chooses to invest in the company for a different reason than revenue, so when acting on behalf of this group, the business is also able to focus on non-economic lawful derivatives in addition to the bottom line while still acting on behalf of their shareholders.


(Carly) #157

I agree with Camden and Jessica’s comments that businesses contributing to peace should occur with an incremental approach. To continue Jessica’s point, if a business has happy employees, then these employees are more likely to give back to their community when they are outside of work. They may return home from work in a positive mood and want to do something to help others. Or, it could be as simple as wanting to influence their children or friends in a positive/giving way. From these and Jessica’s examples, the company’s ethical actions of treating their employees the way they should be treated can make many strides to peace outside of the company’s workplace and employees.


(Libby Hilger) #158

I completely agree with Ken Li in that although promoting peace is the ethical thing to do, businesses also do so in large part to obtain profit. In the pursuit of peace, we are fortunate that society today wants peace, and in turn pressures business to promote peace. Society's interest in ethical behavior has been increasing in importance, and I believe that this trend will continue in the future and that interest will strengthen even more. Regardless of the motivation of acting to promote peace, whether it's tax deductions or attracting customers, the end result is that one more business is promoting peace. With each additional business that promotes peace, we are one step closer to an overall peaceful society.

Ken Li said:

Business benefits often motivate businesses to promote peace. First, companies that promote peace are often rewarded by the government with tax deductions. For example, companies that donate old supplies to Goodwill will receive charitable tax deductions on their next tax payments. Second, as consumers become more socially conscious, it is beneficial for companies promote peace and thereby attracting more customers. TOMS Shoes's business model of one donation per sale has helped the company to build a loyal customer base. Finally, employees would take pride in their companies' rightful actions, thus growing workforce loyalty and productivity.


(Lilly Morgan) #159

The role of a business is to generate wealth for anyone involved, like stakeholder theory supports. This includes the shareholders, employees, customers, and society as a whole. A business might contribute to peace in order to shape the brand of their company. From a long-term perspective, this overall image created by contributing to peace will increase profits as a whole. Furthermore, The reputation of the company would continue to build, bringing in the highest qualified applicants looking to work for the business, enhancing job creation. The cycle continues, which allows customers remain loyal and satisfied, creating more profits for the company. This idea of a cycle is very important for the business's future and it is the underlying factors of this cycle that motivates the company to contribute to peace in the first place. All in all, the most important motivation in relationship to the firm's future is probably building an image, because that is where it all begins.


(Lilly Morgan) #160

Another interesting note to think about is the competition that businesses are currently up against in the economy. Contributing to peace should and often is something that businesses do because they want to, but it is also a possibility that the pressure of competition is a motivator in itself to push companies to contribute to society. If it wasn't gaining so much popularity, there would be less companies feeling the pressure to give back and contribute to peace. This isn't so much an important long-term motivator, but it is definitely something to think about when assessing the idea of why a company might contribute to peace.