Corporate Options for Breaking Cycles of Conflict

May, 2001 | Mary B. Anderson, and Luc Zandvliet

Responsible Business
Suggested Citation: Anderson, Mary B., and Luc Zandvliet. “Corporate Options for Breaking Cycles of Conflict.” Cambridge, MA: CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, 2001.

When international corporations operate in zones of conflict, their operations inevitably affect and are affected by the conflict. Simply by entering a foreign context, a company becomes a part of it, and when that context involves warfare, corporations inadvertently become embroiled in the intergroup struggles that underlie and propel the conflict.

All corporations recognize and plan for the effects of conflicts on their operations. However, many efforts to manage and mitigate the negative effects of conflict on business operations show only partial and disappointing results. A review of these efforts provides a clue as to why this is the case. Very often, corporate understanding of the impacts of conflicts on their operations is framed too narrowly and, thus, provides an insufficient basis for developing effective mitigation strategies.