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Companies as Peacebuilders: Engaging Communities through Conflict Resolution

journal contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Natalie RalphNatalie Ralph, M Conley-Tyler
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.



University of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Series

Article number

Paper 196


University of Melbourne





Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article