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Access and Application: Addressing the Two Major Problems in Current Business and Peace Research

Katsos, John
The Developing Field of business and peace has largely focused on three research streams: theory, quantitative analyses of perceptions, and qualitative analyses of company actions grounded in other fields such as political science. The theoretical literature has sought to craft theories of change related to private sector enhancement of peace and to properly categorize the types of activities that might, based on prevailing theories in fields such as economics, political science, management, and psychology, help to enhance peace (Forrer and Katsos, 2015; Westermann-Behaylo et al.,2015). This theoretical literature is the core of the business and peace “field”, in that scholars are engaging with and building upon one another’s work. The quantitative literature thus far has largely sought to ascertain the perceptions of managers—primarily at multinational enterprises (MNEs)—operating in conflict and buffer states (Darendeli and Hill, 2015; Oetzel and Getz, 2012). The qualitative literature is often expansive, focusing on unique cases of private sector actors in conflict zones (Katsos and Forrer, 2014; Guaqueta, 2008). It is rarely rooted in or even aware of business and peace theory. Rather, it often is derived from other disciplines with a tangential link to business and peace.