Programs

The Business and Peace Program

The Business and Peace Program (BPP) is rooted in a decade of work on Peace Through Commerce: ethical business behavior has unexpected payoffs for the firm and its surrounding community through a mirroring of nonviolent societal behavior. Research and outreach initiatives develop practical guidance in business, based on the premise of Peace Through Commerce, specifically in the conflict-sensitive areas of the world. To do so, BPP focuses on three activities: courses such as “Business Development in Conflict Zones,” research on topics such as “Public and Private Investment Guidelines in Conflict Zones,” and partnerships to create a global network such as that with the social venture company, NewForesight. Conflict-sensitive areas of the globe present unique and complex social and economic relationships. BPP strives to understand the roles business plays in conflict-sensitive areas and identify practical policies and programs that promote the transition from Conflict to Peace. Former ICR executive director Timothy Fort and associate director John Forrer recently led the recently released U.S. Institute of Peace-ICR Task Force Report on Business and Peace.

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The Environmental Sustainability Program (ESP)

The Environmental Sustainability Program (ESP) studies, advances, and critiques the integration of environmental issues and responses, into the social and economic policies and practices of international and domestic businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations, through research, teaching, and service.

ESP encourages and coordinates GWSB academic, peer-reviewed (including sponsored) research, primarily centered on environmental sustainability issues of business organizations and their stakeholders. Other scholarly and practitioner-related research is also conducted in ESP and includes books, invited chapters, presentations, case studies, and reports. Current research topics in both categories include: environmental entrepreneurship; integration of corporate and community sustainability planning; ENGO involvement in environmental management systems and policy; voluntary environmental program performance; the role of information in sustainability policies and programs; and, sustainable energy, including climate change policy and management; and tourism-related stakeholder management.

Director: Jorge Rivera is the director of the Environmental Sustainability Program.

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The Governance Program

There is a long academic tradition to examining corporate governance, but too often that has taken place within the narrow confines of a strictly legal or financial perspective. The Governance Program looks at the basic questions of corporate governance from a multidisciplinary perspective: what is the purpose of the corporation; in whose interests should the corporation be run; and what are the responsibilities of the board of directors?

Corporations are becoming involved in Public Private Partnerships and Global Governance Networks. The emergent forms of governance can help advance business interests while accomplishing social policy objectives. While PPPs and governance networks have grown in popularity, limited research has been conducted on the approaches, arrangements and processes that facilitate accomplishing these dual objectives. The Governance Program studies program studies governance networks and the factors that support a successful collaboration.

The Governance Program supports research and teaching and brings together scholars, corporate leaders, and public policymakers to best connect the theory and practice of governance.

Director: John Forrer is the director of the Governance Program

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The Global Stakeholder Strategies Program (GSS)

The Global Stakeholder Strategies Program (GSS) is based on the idea that sustaining viable stakeholder relations creates long lasting value for corporations. Firms engaging with a range of stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers, investors, civil society, non-governmental organizations, communities, and governmental agencies; is not a new concept. What separates modern stakeholder engagement strategies, however, is the additional uncertainty and complexity in a global world of commerce. Expanding operations across continents, developing reliable supply chains within and among multiple developing or developed countries, ensuring quality goods/service delivery while appropriately attending to local employees, communities and governments having disparate values and shared beliefs creates complex learning issues for modern corporations. Accountability, transparency and impacts of firms and stakeholders while building capacity, enhancing reputation, and creating value are dominant themes in the global stakeholder strategies program.

Director: Jenn Griffin is the director of the Global Stakeholder Strategies Program.

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