MNE Strategic Intervention in Violent Conflict: Variations Based on Conflict Characteristics

Journal of Business Ethics 89 (S4):375 - 386 (2009)
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Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a substantial increase in the number of intrastate conflicts around the world. During the last two decades, there have been more than 125 violent conflicts resulting in 7 million deaths (Smith, 2003). Given the prevalence of these conflicts, the inability of some governments to resolve them, and the reluctance of multilateral institutions to intervene, multinational enterprises (MNEs) engaged in international ventures may find themselves in situations where they must respond to violent conflict to minimize investment risk and to promote stability in countries where they operate. Research on business response to violent conflict has tended to treat conflict as a homogeneous problem, when in fact conflicts vary on several dimensions. The purpose of this article is to extend the research with a focus on how the characteristics of the conflict affect MNE intervention strategies. Drawing on insights from the research on conflict resolution and the risk that violent conflict poses to the firm, we develop a framework and propositions that provide guidance to MNEs confronting violent conflict with respect to existing projects or facilities



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