Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

By Lene Bomann-Larsen; Oddny Wiggen | Go to book overview

3
Business is not Just War:
Implications for applying
the principle of double
effect to business
G. J. (Deon) Rossouw
Introduction
It is not uncommon to find comparisons or analogies between business and war. In the field of business management, war paradigms are often utilized, especially in strategic planning and marketing management.1 It is, for example, argued that competitive marketing resembles warfare and consequently a number of offensive and defensive marketing strategies are identified that can be used by business either to gain new market territory or to defend existing markets.This project too assumes that there are sufficient analogies between business and war to warrant the transfer of some principles of double effect originally developed within the just war tradition to the context of international business. In an earlier publication, “Hard questions of international business: Some guidelines from the ethics of war”, Gregory Reichberg referred to a number of such analogies between business and war.2 These include the following:
both war and business involve groups of people structured according to channels of authority;
both war and business are conducted across national jurisdictions;
in both war and business the pressure to engage in wrongdoing can be intense, to the extent that wrongdoing is frequently justified as being “part of the game”;

-39-

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