Complementary Alternative Benefits to Promote Peace
43 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008
Date Written: December 2008
Recent research has focused on business as a mediating institution that can influence society while engaging in the traditional profit-making and value generation functions. This work includes Professors Fort's and Schipani's arguments about how business may be able to play a role in promoting more peaceful societies, and the work of other scholars addressing how businesses might serve a role in reducing violence in society and the workplace. Although there is a significant body of scholarship on the role of business in reducing violence in society, there is little research on concrete steps for businesses to take to achieve this goal. This paper attempts to begin to fill that void.
As identified by Fort and Schipani, business may promote more peaceful societies by encouraging a sense of community and by engaging in track two diplomacy. We argue that one way in which to encourage a sense of community and engage in track two diplomacy on a small scale, and therefore potentially play a role in reducing violence, is for business to provide what we denote as complementary alternative benefits (CABs), to its workforce.
In this paper, we encourage businesses to offer CABs which focus on sustaining the health, reducing the stress, and improving the camaraderie of its workforce. We argue that business can use these benefits to promote a healthy, less-stressed, and collegial workforce that is less prone to resolve conflicts by violence. Further, we examine the role business plays in promoting more peaceful societies and how employer-initiated stress reduction programs are consistent with both business ethics and peace-building principles. We suggest that the employment benefits firms provide to their workforces may have a significant impact on how those employees interact with society. Finally, we demonstrate how CABs may also reduce costs related to absenteeism and turnover and thus improve the bottom line.
Keywords: business ethics, peace, employment benefits
JEL Classification: K31, J32, J38, M12, M14, N40, J63, J33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation