- Enhancing the concept of corporate diplomacy
- encompassing political corporate social responsibility, international relations, and peace through commerce
- The Academy of Management Perspectives
- Volume | Issue number
- 29 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
Corporate diplomacy is an emerging concept within the management literature. It describes corporate conduct in the international arena, particularly in challenging political and social environments. Management scholarship and practitioner literature have focused on the communication processes and instrumental benefits associated with corporate diplomacy, exploring and explaining how managers negotiate stakeholder relationships to achieve a firm's profit-oriented goals. We enrich the current understanding of corporate diplomacy by viewing it as an umbrella concept that encompasses scholarship from political corporate social responsibility, international relations, diplomacy, and peace studies. We also suggest that corporate diplomacy includes the political role that multinational enterprises play in addressing social issues and governance gaps affecting less developed and potentially conflict-prone host countries where they operate. Based on this approach, the concept of corporate diplomacy builds on the premise that multinationals have an expanded role and responsibilities in terms of global governance and that the practice of corporate diplomacy can play a role in resolving social or political conflicts, leading to wider societal benefits beyond corporate profits. To illustrate our concept of corporate diplomacy, we focus on the governance gaps addressed in the literature on peace through commerce, discussing instances where firms implement corporate diplomacy through peacemaking or peace building to accomplish both private and public goals in conflict-prone regions. We conclude with the practical implications of corporate diplomacy as well as suggestions for research to further develop a richer understanding of corporate diplomacy.
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