From War-Torn to Peace-Torn? Mapping Business Strategies in Transition from Conflict to Peace in Colombia
25 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2017
Date Written: February 28, 2017
The literature on the relationship between the private sector, armed conflict, and peacebuilding has extensively analyzed how companies adapt to unstable contexts, what risks they face and how they are tackled, and the degree to which expected peace dividends serve as motivation for companies to engage in peacebuilding. However, while the importance of the private sector for war-to-peace transitions is clear, little has been said about the specific strategies adopted by companies in transition periods. How do companies prepare for peace? What choices do they face? How essential is the role of the CEO or owner? What unique strategies do firms take to adapt to political change? This paper aims to build theory on business strategies in times of transition from conflict to peace to prioritize an under-studied branch of business-peace literature. We identify four types of business strategies for peace (operational, political, philanthropic, public relations). We explore these strategies through choices of firms operating in Colombia to expose key literature gaps and suggest five new research strands that have the potential to integrate strategy and risk calculations into testable study of business-peace relationships.
Keywords: armed conflict, peace, business strategy, political risk, Colombia, CSR, CEO, corporate diplomacy, peacebuilding, business ethics, international norms, negotiation, Corporate Social Responsibility
JEL Classification: F2, F23, M14, Q13, Q34, D74, F5, F50, F51, F54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation