Give Peace a Chance: A Mantra for Business Strategy

Journal of Business Ethics 20 (1):27 - 37 (1999)
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The journalistic device of applying military imagery to describe business strategies is appropriate insofar as businesses implicitly base their strategies on a military model whose origins lie in Social Darwinism. What this involves is an unexamined understanding that any means may be adopted to achieve corporate objectives. Recent workforce reductions are manifestations of this understanding; but so are practices associated with mergers and acquisitions and with government-effectuated takings. Regulation, rather than being overbroad, cannot contain these corporate excesses; and social pressure is an underdeveloped counterforce. Business ethics will remain futile, unfortunately, so long as its practitioners assume a peacetime state of affairs and businesses assume a state of war.
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