"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Global Diplomacy, Peace, and Stability

In the twenty-first century, no longer can managers separate the activities of business and politics. The emergence of globalization and economic integration in recent years has had many implications for managers of global corporations. In the earlier part of the twentieth-century, businesses shared little interest in political matters that did not directly affect or regulate their daily operations. Over time, with the emergence of two world wars, the rise and expansion of large global corporations, and the impact of social, economic, and technological globalization, business managers must now have an understanding of the political affairs of nations around the world. In particular, business managers must understand the important role that diplomacy, peace, and stability play not only from a political point of view, but also from a corporate one as well. Today, one of the leading organizations that is helping to bring government officials and business managers together is that of the United Nations. With the establishment of the United Nations Global Compact in 1999 and the creation of the annual World Economic Forum held in Geneva since 1971, the United Nations has provided a forum in which global business leaders, political figures, and other interest groups can meet to discuss global economic and political issues that the world currently faces.

In the future, the political and economic importance of global diplomacy, peace, and stability will become a significant consideration of corporations and governments alike. One of the key reasons behind this idea is the increased consciousness and awareness of consumers who are more educated about global issues than previous generations. In the earlier half of the twentieth-century, many corporations were able to take advantage of resources and markets available in nations plagued by human rights violations and civil conflict without reprimand. Some corporations, such as the United Fruit Company during the Latin American dictatorships of the 1940s and 1950s, even prospered greatly under these conditions while turning a blind eye to the political and social injustices that were taking place within these regions. Nowadays, though, increased education and awareness of global issues (due to advances in communication technology), have ensured that fewer and fewer corporations are able to get away with such activities. Today, managers need to understand the importance of diplomacy, peace, and stability in order to ensure the positive growth of their firms. Managers need to inform themselves of the political conditions and history of their markets, as well as of the dealings of the international partners they are working with in order to prevent backlash from the global community over unethical practices. Managers must also work with governments and NGOs in order to promote peace and stability, as history has proven that most firms require such conditions in order to remain competitive in international markets.

Thus, a twenty-first century manager can no longer be concerned with only business operations and competition. Through such activities as the UN Global Compact and the World Economic Forum, twenty-first century managers must enhance their understanding of international affairs, as well as promote diplomacy, peace, and stability in order to maintain a clean public image, ensure corporate stability and prosperity in foreign markets, and create more opportunity for a sustainable, profitable, and innovative future in numerous potential markets around the world.

1 comment:

gary said...

In the twenty-first century, no longer can managers separate the activities of business and politics.

There's an alternative thought on this, one that says a businessman's only obligation is to the stockholders, and that society through governence must lay down a structure of laws that keep businesses in check. I would say that this approach is more realistic.

As far as the United Nations is concerned, we have a long way to go. Too many failures...Darfur, Iraq, North Korea, and many more. The problem is that it currently allows dictators to hold an equal status with democracies. We need to drastically overhaul the institution so that it is better rooted in democracy. Specifically...


Until we recognize this, we are in for a rough ride...