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Cuadernos de Administración (Universidad del Valle)

versión impresa ISSN 0120-4645

cuad.adm. vol.33 no.58 Cali mayo/ago. 2017

http://dx.doi.org/10.25100/cdea.v33i58.4487 

Artículo de investigación científica y tecnológica

Corporate Social Responsibility and Peacebuilding: Analysis of a multinational company from Colombia

Responsabilidad social empresarial y construcción de paz: análisis de una multinacional colombiana

Responsabillité sociale des entreprises et la consolidation de la paix: une analyse d’une multinationale colombienne

Mónica López-Santamaría1  , Merlin Patricia Grueso Hinestroza2  , Carlos Alberto Rodríguez Romero3 

1 Doctorate student Management and Business, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia. Psychologist, Universidad del Valle, Master’s degree in Human Rights, Universidad Externado de Colombia. e-mail: monica.lopezs@urosario.edu.co

2 Full Professor, School of Administration, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia. Psychologist, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Social psychology PhD, Universidad de Salamanca. Dirección y Gerencia Research Group, Category A1 Colciencias, Universidad del Rosario. e-mail: merlin.grueso@urosario.edu.co

3 Associate Professor, School of Administration, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. Business Administrator, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sciences de Gestion PhD, Université Pierre Mendes France Grenoble II. Gestión y Organizaciones Research Group (GRIEGO), Category A Colciencias, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.e-mail: carodriguezro@unal.edu.co

Abstract

The present research seeks to comprehend in what manner a Colombian multinational1 contributes to peacebuilding through Corporate Social Responsibility-CSR- practices development, and to know what challenges it faces in order for this exercise to adopt a peacebuilding emphasis. To that end, this study reviews sustainability reports corresponding to the 2010-2015 period published by a multinational operating in Colombia and analyses them by means of grounded theory design. The results obtained show that the multinational has contributed to our country’s peacebuilding through the exercise of its CSR by means of: orientation towards its stakeholders’ development, implementing strategic alliances, human right focus on the relationships established with its groups of interest, supporting entrepreneurship, boosting local development and the impact on our country’s economic and social development. With regards to the challenges faced by the analyzed multinational in order to reach a CSR exercise with emphasis on peacebuilding, it was found that it needs to strengthen its participation in reconciliation acts, analysis of the context in which it operates, participation in peace negotiation processes, work incorporation of irregular ex-combatants, as well as to widen its managerial vision of diversity and transcend from a perspective of prevention to health promoting.

Key words: Corporate social responsibility; Peacebuilding; Multinational; Stakeholders’ development

Resumen

La presente investigación busca comprender de qué manera una multinacional 1 colombiana contribuye a la construcción de paz, a través del desarrollo de prácticas de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial -RSE- y conocer cuáles son los retos que enfrenta para que este ejercicio adopte un énfasis en construcción de paz. Para tal efecto, el estudio revisa los informes de sostenibilidad correspondientes al período 2010-2015 publicados por una multinacional que opera en Colombia y los analiza mediante el diseño de teoría fundamentada. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que la multinacional ha contribuido a la construcción de paz en el país, a través de su ejercicio de RSE, por medio de: la orientación hacia el desarrollo de sus stakeholders, la implementación de alianzas estratégicas, el enfoque de derechos humanos en las relaciones que establece con sus grupos de interés, el apoyo al emprendimiento, el impulso al desarrollo local y el impacto en el desarrollo económico y social del país. Con relación a los retos que enfrenta la multinacional analizada para alcanzar un ejercicio de RSE con énfasis en la construcción de paz se encuentra que esta requiere fortalecer la participación en acciones de reconciliación, el análisis del contexto en el que opera, la participación en procesos de negociación de paz, la vinculación laboral de excombatientes irregulares, así como, ampliar la visión de gestión de la diversidad y trascender de la perspectiva de prevención a la de promoción de la salud.

Palabras-clave: Responsabilidad social empresarial; Construcción de paz; Multinacional; Desarrollo de stakeholders

Résumé

La présente étude cherche à comprendre la manière dans laquelle une multinationale colombienne apporte à la consolidation de la paix, à travers du développement des pratiques de responsabilité social des entreprises RSE et à savoir quelles sont les défis afin d’adopter/mettre l’accent sur la consolidation de la paix. Pour tel effet, l’étude analyse les rapports de durabilité pour la période 2010-2015 publiés par la multionationale qui opere en Colombie et les examine à travers la conception de la théorie ancrée. Les résultats montrent que la multionationale a contribué à la construction de la paix dans le pays, par le biais de son exercice de RSE, à travers: l’orientation vers le développement de ses parties prenantes, la mise en place d’alliances stratégiques, l’approche de droits de l’homme dans les rélations qu’il établit avec ses groupes d’intérêt, le soutien entrepreneuriat, la promotion du développement local et l’impact du développement économique et social du pays. En ce qui concerne les défis rencontrés par la multinationale analysée pour réaliser un exercice de RSE mettant l’accent sur la consolidation de la paix, il est nécessaire de renforcer la participation aux actions de réconciliation, l’analyse du contexte dans lequel elle agit, la participation aux processus de la négociation de la paix, le lien de travail des ex-combattants irréguliers, ainsi que élargir la vision de la gestion de la diversité et aller au-delà de la perspective de la prévention à la promotion de la santé.

Key words: Responsabilité sociale des entreprises; Consolidation de la paix; Multinationale; Développement des parties prenantes

1. Introduction

Colombia’s armed internal conflict has left 220.000 deathly victims approximately, 25.000 missing people, and 4.744.046 displaced between 1958 and 2012 (Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica, 2013). Clearly in the face of this outlook, the primary responsibility for peace falls on the State; however, the vital role played by business sector2 in this purpose has been increasingly acknowledged (Prandi, 2010a), positioning it as an important ally in attaining sustainable peace (Rettberg, 2010).

In this respect, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is proposed as a means to undertake peacebuilding (Prandi, 2010b) since it is conceived as a mechanism supporting the searching and keeping of peace (Prandi, 2010b), it reduces gaps between external groups of interest and the company (Subedi, 2013) and allows to assume a behavior which propends for the creation of sustainable peace (Subedi, 2013),

Meanwhile, Rettberg (2016) points to the need to better understand the exercise of CSR in order to facilitate explaining the answers to peace. Koerber (2010), in turn, points to how little it is known regarding how CSR favors the incursion in peacebuilding actions and recommends to incursion in companies’ case studies with the purpose of being more specific in the findings. From the same perspective, Forrer and Katsos (2015) warn that it is necessary to determine the most effective mechanisms for the business sector to build peace.

Now, the past decade has been set as a period in which the studying on the business’s sector participation in peacebuilding has intensified (Bond, 2014; Oetzel, Westermann-Behaylo, Koerber, Fort and Rivera, 2010; Prandi, 2010b; Rettberg, 2010; 2016). However, despite growing political, business and academic interest surrounding the business-peace relationship (Ford, 2015), relatively little is known about business leaders’ role in peacebuilding processes (Hayward and Magennis, 2014) and the behavior of big business actors, who serve as a reference for other companies (Llorente, Palou, Rivas, Prieto, Miranda and Navarrete, 2012).

Regarding this topic’s relevance in the national scope, Rettberg (2002) argues that Colombia’s post-conflict agenda must take into account there aspects surrounding the business’s sector participation in peacebuilding: what is its contribution? Under what conditions does it contribute? And what forms does such contribution take? Precisely, the 2014-2018 Development Plan states that “the business sector is summoned to proactively and steadily participate as an outstanding agent for a stable and lasting peace in Colombia” (Dirección Nacional de Planeación, 2014, p. 43).

However, despite the business sector participation in peacebuilding being part of the national prospective and that according to Peña (2014), it has increasingly gained relevance in our country since the end of the past century, this field of study is deemed as one which still has got a lot of work to do (Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia, Consejo Internacional de Industria Sueca and Fundación Ideas para la Paz, 2014).

As such, this study pretends, from the analysis of sustainability reports for the 2010-2015 period by a Colombian multinational, to understand how through exercising CSR business organizations of this kind are capable of contributing to our country’s peacebuilding, and specify what are the challenges faced by this multinational in order to consolidate a CSR with a peacebuilding emphasis.

The analysis proposed by this study is geared from the following questions: what is the analyzed multinational’s CSR exercise like? What CSR approach is it ascribed to? How does it contribute to our country’s peacebuilding through exercising its CSR? And finally, what are the challenges it faces in order to consolidate a CSR with a peacebuilding emphasis?

In order to meet the set goals, CSR will be conceptually developed next on, as well as peacebuilding and researches that have set forth a relationship between these two variables will be reviewed. Then, the design of the research to which this study is ascribed will be reported; afterwards, the results and their contrast against the theory will be presented. Finally, conclusions, limitations of the exercise and recommendations for future research will be drawn.

2. Theoretical Framework

2.1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Regarding CSR’s definition, it is possible to find an understanding oriented towards issues of economic order which involve these actions, mainly represented by the conception proposed by Friedman (1970) for whom it consists of a mechanism that favors a company’s principal purpose of “making as much money as possible abiding by society’s basic rules; those incorporated into the law, as well as those incorporated into ethical custom” (p.2).

On the other hand, there is Carroll’s (1979) approach, who argues CSR to be the actions that go beyond a company’s economic and legal affairs, understanding it as “the economic, legal, ethical and discretional expectations that society has about organizations” (p. 500). Dahlsrud (2008), after analyzing 37 definitions of CSR found out that these make reference to five dimensions: stakeholders, social, economic, voluntary and environmental; the first one being the one to which most definitions are ascribed and the last one being the least referred to.

In coherence with these definitions, Ibarra (2014) proposes as CSR approaches: the classic one, equitable with the economic current; the strategic one, corresponding to the stakeholders’ current and that of the social contract in connection with the social current. Additionally, he makes reference to the triple button line approach, which defines CSR as being geared towards attaining three kinds of benefit: economic, social and environmental.

Now, Banfield and Gündüz (2006) argue the business’s sector incursion in peacebuilding actions must be articulated to CSR’s foundations so as to guarantee its gearing with the corporate strategy, and Prandi (2010b) draws attention with respect to the importance of establishing strategic alliances and the relationship with groups of interest in post-war situations of rehabilitation in order to facilitate the undertaking of socially responsible actions oriented towards contributing to peace.

Within this study’s framework, CSR is understood from a more social and discretional perspective, as that which “implies all the actions beneficial to society, excluding abiding by institutionally (human rights, sustainable development, work legislation, etc.), the compensation of collateral effects and improvement of the business environment” Toca, Grueso, Carrillo and López, 2012, p. 116).

2.2 Peacebuilding

The notion of peacebuilding found its conceptual origin in theoretical studies about conflict (Hayward and Magennis, 2014). In this respect, Galtung (1976) understands peacebuilding as that in charge of providing the conditions for positive peace sustainability, intervening war’s structural causes. For their part, Lederach (1997) understands peacebuilding from a broader sense, since he determines that it goes before and after peace agreements because more than a period of time, it is a “dynamic social construction” (p. 75).

Rettberg (2002) determined that the diverse forms of understanding peacebuilding may be classified into: 1) minimalist, those referring to specific actions, such as infrastructure rebuilding; 2) intermediate, which understand peacebuilding as a process that might be initiated before ceasing hostilities and must end only when the effects of war have dissipated and 3) maximalist, those oriented towards intervening war’s structural causes. About the aforementioned, Rettberg (2003) proposes that ascribing to any of this approximations of the term, depends on the conflict’s characteristics of evolution, the way to resolve it and the participation of international organisms in this process.

It is possible, then, to identify various authors who make reference to peacebuilding actions in which business organizations may contribute. For example, Banfield an d Gündüz (2006) stablish that companies may influence on: economic order, security, political and reconciliation affairs. Barnett, Kim, O’Donnell and Sitea (2007) highlight the following peacebuilding activities: safety and military; social, economic, development ahd humanitarian; political and diplomatic; and justice and reconciliation.

Along the same line, for Prandi (2010b) some actions are necessary in the process of contributing to peacebuilding: integrally knowing and comprehending the context of the conflict and post-conflict in which the business activity will be developed, generating development and economic growth, contributing to restructuring and reconciliation, defining of a stakeholder relationship policy, establishing strategic alliances, creating employment or self-employment opportunities, or generating some means of subsistence for the most vulnerable populations under the perspective of decent work; managing diversity, supporting entrepreneurship, health promoting, participation in peacebuilding processes; complying, defending and guaranteeing human rights and international humanitarian law.

Oetzel, Westermann-Behaylo, Koerber, Fort, and Rivera, (2010), consider the following actions in order for companies to contribute to peacebuilding: promoting economic development, promoting the rule of law, contributing to a sense of community, participating in diplomacy and adopting practices sensible to conflicts and risks assessment.

Finally, Rettberg y Rivas (2012) speak of the incorporation of international standards in human rights and international humanitarian law, participation in peace negotiations, socioeconomic reintegration of people in reintegration processes, intervention with a view to the environment and territorial focus and actions geared to tending to vulnerable groups of population in virtue of the armed conflict.

This way, the aforementioned references to peacebuilding actions to which the business sector may contribute could be synthesized in: social and economic development, security, reconciliation, participation in peace processes, knowing the context, risk assessment and sensitivity toward the conflict, stakeholders relationships, establishment of strategic alliances, creation of employment and development opportunities for the most vulnerable populations, support to entrepreneurship, diversity management, health promotion and defense, complying and guaranteeing human rights and humanitarian international law.

Meanwhile, it is proposed that the role played by the business sector in peacebuilding processes is linked to factors such as: size, resources, capabilities, activities’ scope (regional, national, international), the sector it belongs to (Andersson, Evers and Sjöstedt, 2011), its background, context of operation, the content of the corporate strategy (Rettberg and Rivas, 2012), as well as its possibility of relating with other actors who tend towards the configuration of a more collaborative work (Oetzel and Getz, 2012).

2.3 CSR and peacebuilding

With the goal of compiling more elements that contribute to analyzing the obtained results, some studies that have analyzed the relationship between CSR and peacebuilding will be presented next on.

Jiménez (2014) analyzes multinationals’ contributions to peace by studying the relationship between CSR, adherence to the Global Pact and peacebuilding. Their study confirms that linking business to these worldwide initiatives makes them more likely to be sensible towards conflict in their CSR actions. With respect to the undertaking of peacebuilding actions, the research finds multinationals to have a higher tendency to carrying them out individually, which proves that public-private partnerships are not being exploited.

Koerber (2010) studies the CSR-peacebuilding relationship in the trade sector, mediated by the efficiency of the norms that regulate the implementing of CSR. In accordance with the previous research, the study found that adopting this standard contributes to the interested parties adopting ethical behaviors compatible with achieving peace. However, the research also permits to determine that despite CSR’s contributions to implementing peacebuilding actions, this path is not sufficient and the confluence of other organizational factors is required in order to be more effective in this task.

Guaquetá (2006) carried out a documentation exercise on good peacebuilding practices within Colombian business context (Development and Peace Programs, Peace Agendas, Network Alliances, Companies For Peace) from which were identified, among others, CSR as one of the factors that have determined companies’ willingness to undertake peacebuilding actions. The study allows to conclude that an increment of regulations surrounding this aspect has been vital for the business sector to introduce the CSR topic into its agenda and finds that “companies at the forefront of CSR are usually involved in projects linked to peacebuilding” (p. 12). However, one of the analyzed initiatives, known as Network Alliances, found that speaking to businessmen in CSR terms is not enough; instead, referring to figures and direct benefits is necessary in order to convince them to participate in such alliance.

Rettberg (2004) found that in Proantioquia’s “Entretodos” initiative the peacebuilding actions undertaken are framed in the CSR strategy, which corroborates that “institutional knowhow on CSR provides an adequate basis for peacebuilding” (p. 15). The study also permits to analyze public-private alliances’ impact on the undertaking of peacebuilding actions by the business sector since the initiative analyzed included the municipal administration, which was shown to be inefficient at administrating the resources provided by the Inter-American Development Bank. In this respect, the experience does not report good results from public-private alliances, to which is attributed that the formulated actions were not associated with what companies live for, thus causing them to not being able to administrate them on their own.

The aforementioned research background allows to put in evidence the following aspects: 1) the adoption of CSR-related international standards by companies, turns into a mechanism that favors the incursion in peacebuilding actions, 2) while CSR does behave as a mechanism to conduct peacebuilding actions, it was made evident that this is not the only alternative companies may rely on in order to taken on a more active role in this task and 3) alliances constitute a key strategy for peacebuilding actions undertaking; however, it is necessary to capitalize public-private alliances’ potential.

3. Methodology

3.1. Research approach, design, kind and focus

This research parts from a qualitative approach, which according to Strauss and Corbin (2002) is characterized by “producing findings not attained by means of statistical procedures or other quantifying methods” (p. 19).

Consistently, this study is ascribed to the Grounded Theory design3, which is understood as the process of building “a theory derived from data gathered in a systematic manner and analyzed by means of a research process. In this method the gathering of data, its analysis and the theory that arises from them bear a close relationship inwardly” (Strauss and Corbin, 2002, p. 13), and its framed in the case study type, since it is focused exclusively on reviewing a single unit of analysis (Grinell, Williams and Unrau, 2009).

As proposed by the design of Grounded Theory, the approach to which this research responds is inductive; now, according to Delgado (2012) “Strauss and Corbin, while they emphasize they approach the data inductively, they acknowledge that the researcher possesses previous knowledge serving as a guide at the moment of codifying and categorizing” (p. 57).

3.2. Unit of analysis

The choice of the unit of analysis is backed by the statement of Llorente et al. (2012), who state the importance of acknowledging the behaviour of the big and main business actors in peacebuilding matters, taking into account that they constitute a referent for other companies and have a greater possibility of influencing public affairs. In this respect, a Colombian multinational is chosen since it as reported as one of the two companies in Colombia with the most sales and profits during 2015.

On the other hand, sustainability reports for the 2010-2015 period are analyzed because the last few National Development Plans (2010-1014; 2014-2018) have emphasized companies’ participation in peacebuilding by means of their socially responsible actions. The former, permits to presume that during the studied period of time, the Colombian multinational has effectively reported CSR actions geared towards peacebuilding.

Finally, a multinational adhered to the Global Pact4 is analyzed because according to Jiménez (2014) “it is possible to infer that embracing the Global Pact’s principles makes companies more prone to carrying out said projects and to being more sensitive towards the conflict instead of just advancing CSR programs” (p. 85 y 86). Additionally, from its adhesion in the year 2007, the multinational took over the commitment of issuing sustainability reports periodically (www.pactoglobal-colombia.org).

The analysis parts from the indicators provided by the Global Reporting Initiative5 because adhering to the Global Pact means sustainability reports being built from these (Global Reporting Initiative and Global Compact, 2007) and focuses on the social dimension6, because it refers to “the impacts of an organization’s activities on the social systems in which it operates” (Global Reporting Initiative and Global Compact, 2007, p. 32). In this respect, it is expected to find in this analysis of this dimension, the report on CSR actions undertaken by the multinational geared towards peacebuilding.

3.3. Procedure

Responding to the information analysis process established by the grounded theory design: firstly, the reading of the sustainability reports was carried out and the information was classified, parting from each of the GRI indicators considered within the social dimension. Afterwards, the open codification process7 was undertaken through a microscopic analysis (phrase by phrase) and from the concepts8 that resulted from this exercise; the categories were defined9 in contrast with the theory, in order to make possible the axial codification process10. Finally, having defined the categories, the “paradigm”11 was built and each one of its components: the central category, causal conditions, consequences, actions and interactions, intervening conditions, strategies and contextual conditions12.

4. Results and discussion

After classifying the information extracted from the reports on sustainability, from each of the indicators considered in the GRI’s social dimension, the open codification process was undertaken from which 148 concepts turned out. Based on the theoretical review and grouping similar concepts, 34 categories were defined.

This way, the axial codification process was carried out, which allowed to define the status of each one (category or subcategory), their inwardly relations and role within the paradigm (Graph 1):

Graph 1 Codified paradigm: configutarion the CSR exercise for the analyzed 

Causal conditions: decent work conditions, relationship to human rights focus, system of benefits, health and safety practices, development of suppliers and contractors, strengthening of the value chain and local development.

  • Intervening conditions: technical and legal and strategic alliance compliance.

  • Central category: stakeholders’ development.

  • Strategy: participative and responsible communication.

  • Contextual conditions: business ethics

  • Consequence: impact on the country’s economic and social development13.

From the codified paradigm’s description, it is possible to answer the first question guiding this study: What the analyzed multinational’s CSR exercise like? In this regard, it is found that the causal conditions favor a CSR primarily geared towards developing its stakeholders, for instance: development of contractors and suppliers, strengthening of the value chain and support to local development (Graph 1A).

As such, stakeholders’ development constitutes the central category (Graph 1C), which means that every CSR action of the analyzed multinational are geared toward guaranteeing its interest groups’ growth, consistent with the multistakeholders perspective from the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative and Global Compact, 2007). According to Prandi (2010b), the aforementioned in key in order to consolidate a CSR with a peace-contributing perspective, since reaching this goal requires, among other conditions, to count on an effective relationship policy with interest groups.

Now, in order to make stakeholders’ development possible the multinational employs as intervening actions compliance with technical and legal norms, and strategic alliances (Graph 1B). The former is also imperative in order to favor incursion in peacebuilding actions, if it’s taken into account that said condition facilitates, according to Prandi (2010b), implementing CSR in contexts of post-war rehabilitation such Colombia’s, and according to Oetzel and Getz (2012) configuring more collaborative work.

It is deemed relevant to highlight that the multinational analyzed displays effectiveness in implementing public-private alliances, opposite Rettberg’s (2004) findings who warn of the difficulty borne by these kind of alliances, since, generally, these propose to become involved in actions that apparently go beyond companies’ reason live for. Besides, it contradicts what Jiménez (2014) propose, whom from their research state that public-private alliances are not being exploited.

Carrying on describing the multinational’s CSR exercising, it’s found that the strategy it employs in order to unfold its socially responsible actions is participative and responsible communication (Graph 1D), which arises a positive element with a view to participation in peacebuilding if it’s taken into account that, just as Oetzel and Getz (2012), state it, the role played by the business sector in peacebuilding processes id linked to factors with a view to configuring a more collaborative work. In turn, Prandi (2010b) also warns about the importance of counting with an effective policy of relationship with interest groups so that “the CSR policy geared towards peacebuilding, be built hand in hand with the stakeholders present in these contexts” (p. 66).

With respect to the contextual conditions under which the analyzed Colombian multinational’s CSR is exercised, they were found to revolve around work ethics (Graph 1E). The aforementioned, may be justified in the incorporation of the Global Pact’s principles, which according to Koerber (2010) favor the adoption of an ethical conduct by interest groups, and consequently they are compatible with the purpose of peacebuilding. This CSR exercise’s characteristic of the multinational also arises as a condition that favors its incursion in peacebuilding actions, since in accordance with Guaquetá (2006) and Jiménez (2014) companies linked to these worldwide initiatives and at the forefront of their CSR dynamics display higher sensitivity towards conflict.

On the other hand, the analyzed multinational’s CSR exercise (consequences) was found to point towards its impact on economic and social development (Graph 1.F), which arises as an encouraging perspective with a view to configuring a CSR that emphasizes on peacebuilding, given that according to Prandi (2010b) socially responsible actions geared towards achieving these outcomes impact peacebuilding.

With regards to the question, what CSR approach is it ascribed to? It is possible to state that it is ascribed to the conceptual dimensions referring to stakeholders as proposed by Dahlsrud (2008). The aforementioned allows to suggest that this approach has transcended the CSR economic perspective argued by Friedman (1970) and is ascribed to a more strategic one from Ibarra’s (2014) proposal, from which business actions are geared towards the participation and development of its groups of interest. Furthermore, the contextual conditions grounded on business ethics allow to deduct from Carroll’s (1979) approximation that this multinational’s CSR is oriented towards a more ethical conception.

Now, even though the multinational was found to have transcended CSR’s economic approach, it still does not reach a more socially discretional approach to this exercise. In that regard, Wojtarowski, Silva, Piñar y Negrete (2016) mention that the emphasis made on CSR’s voluntary character in the definitions coming from international organisms could probably be a limitation for these practices to demonstrate a broader impact at the social level. Moreover, according to Peinado-Vara (2012) Latin America still experiments the “lack of conviction or skepticism about the business benefits of responsible practices” (p. 81).

Carrying on with the answers to our guiding questions, with regards to what is the peacebuilding conception approached by the analyzed multinational? It is possible to state that this conception may be geared from the intermediate position proposed by Rettberg (2002), since the undertaking of CSR actions that impact peacebuilding has not been subject to the total termination of the armed conflict in Colombia. The above, as stated by Rettberg (2003) could be linked to the Colombian armed conflict evolution characteristics, which despite not being terminated has experimented processes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration which have implied to incur in actions geared toward peacebuilding, even amid war. This conception agrees with what Lederach (1997) proposed when arguing that peacebuilding does not refer to a stage, but to a building of social nature and with dynamic characteristics.

When inquiring about how through exercising CSR does the multinational analyzed contribute to peacebuilding in our country? It was found that such contribution is specifically carried out from the following actions: 1) the perspective of liaising with its stakeholders, which according to Prandi (2010b) turns imperative when operating amid the armed conflict, 2) executing socially responsible actions backed through strategic alliances, which agrees with what was indicated by several authors surrounding the importance of establishing strategic alliances in order to boost CSR actions focused on peacebuilding within conflict and post-conflict contexts (Oetzel and Getz, 2012; Prandi, 2010b), 3) liaising with a human rights approach, which is highlighted by Rettberg and Rivas (2012) when reviewing business organizations’ role in scenarios of post-war rehabilitation 4) supporting entrepreneurship and local development, actions signaled by several authors as contributions to peacebuilding from the business sector (Prandi, 2010b; Rettberg and Rivas, 2012) and finally 5) impact on the country’s social and economic development, which according to the references reviewed must be the purpose of CSR actions geared to contributing to peacebuilding (Banfield and Gündüz, 2006; Barnett et al. 2007; Prandi, 2010b; Oetzel et al. 2010; Rettberg and Rivas, 2012).

It is considered important to point out that explicitly from the year 2014 the multinational acknowledges it’s active role within the post-conflict, and begins to make direct reference to its participation in actions of peacebuilding specifically geared to favoring the generation of income of populations affected by the conflict; understood as conflict-sensitive actions according to Oetzel et al. (2010). This is why it is appreciated as an action derived from supporting local development in the paradigm codified to the “participation in the post-conflict” (Graph 1A), since for now these practices are oriented towards this purpose and so not represent a central action within the multinational’s CSR dynamic.

With regards to what are the challenges it faces in order to consolidate a CSR with a peacebuilding emphasis? It was found that even though it has already been contributing to this purpose, it’s in fact possible to determine some challenges that, following Rettberg (2002), allow to transit towards a more maximalist peacebuilding conception, which is in this manner capable of supporting more effectively the intervention of war’s structural causes as proposed by Galtung (1976).

Hence, in order to the multinational at hand to reach a CSR exercise emphasized on peacebuilding, several challenges are presented: 1) joining actions that favor reconciliation processes, as raised by authors such as Banfield and Gündüz, (2006) and Barnett et al. (2007), 2) following Oetzel et al. (2010) and Prandi (2010b), favoring the knowledge and integral understanding of the conflict’s and post-conflict’s context in which business activities are performed so as to achieve a complete risk analysis, 3) responding to several authors’ indications, striving for active participation in the peace negotiation processes currently being carried out in Colombia (Banfield and Gündüz, 2006; Barnett et al. 2007; Rettberg and Rivas, 2012), 4) supporting the econimic reintegration of irregular excombatants through the path of employability, which according to Rettberg and Rivas (2012) constitutes an imperative business action in post-conflict contexts, and finally 5) following Prandi (2010b) there’s still a need to work on a broader vision of diversity management which transcends gender perspective (since this is the one the multinational has been implementing forcefully), and additionally to transit from a prevention standpoint to one of promotion in the scope of health management.

5. Conclusions

The present research intended to comprehend how a Colombian Multinational could through CSR contribute to peacebuilding in our country, and to know what are the challenges it faces for this exercise to adopt a peacebuilding approach.

This study allows to specify that this multinational’s CSR exercising is centered on developing its stakeholders through the strategic alliances mechanism. Within the causes that favor this exercise, decent working conditions liaising with a human rights approach and local development support are worth highlighting. All of the above encompassed in the principles of corporate ethics, and guided by a strategy based on participative and responsible communication, which seeks to impact on the country’s economic and social development. These characteristics of the CSR exercise entail an encouraging outlook from the perspective of higher linkage to peacebuilding processes, since it is understood that this CSR focus betting on the its stakeholders’ development has transcended the purely economic CSR approach towards a more social-discretional thereof.

In this respect, it is coherent to find that multinational analyzed is ascribed to an intermediate peacebuilding position through implementing CSR actions such as: orientation towards its stakeholders’ development, implementing strategic alliances, the human right approach in its relationships with interest groups, supporting entrepreneurship, boosting local development, and finally impacting the country’s economic and social development.

However, this business organization faces challenges that need to be addressed if it means to transit towards a more maximalist peacebuilding standpoint, geared toward directly intervening the conflict’s structural causes. These challenges are specified from the following actions: participating in reconciliation actions, analyzing the context in which it operates, participating in peace negotiation processes, employment of irregular ex-combatants, broadening its vision on diversity management and transcending from prevention to promotion of health.

Additionally to the aforementioned contributions of a theoretical nature offered by this study, it is also possible to mention some of methodological and practical nature.

With respect to the contributions of methodological order, it’s worth highlighting sustainability reports as vital sources of information is imperative, is it’s taken into account that these are built in responding to parameters that have been concerted among key actors for the business sector. On the other hand, it’s shown that the Grounded Theory methodological design turns out to be feasible to undertake the analysis of sources of information such sustainability reports or the likes of it regarding structure.

The practical order contributions are oriented towards making possible, parting from this researching exercise, to provide a systematic process that permits to specify the way in which they are contributing to peacebuilding through their CSR practices to companies that draw a report on their CSR actions by means of a sustainability report.

This research exercise also permitted to identify other paths of study surrounding peacebuilding from the business sector in Colombia:

The present study exclusively analyzed the GRI report’s social dimension, in consequence it would be convenient to explore the environmental dimension, where some peacebuilding actions implemented by this and other multinationals could be identified.

Taking into account that this exercise is ascribed to the case study type, broadening the unit of analysis is recommended in order to favor regularities appreciating, as well as to undertake the studying of several business sectors with the goal of determining the similarities and differences around these, since, following Andersson et al. (2011), the role played by the business sector in peacebuilding processes is linked to factors such as: size of the resources, capabilities, the scope of its activities (regional, national, international) and the sector it belongs to.

According to Guaquetá (2006) and Koerber (2010) CSR is not the only path from which a company may contribute to peacebuilding. In this respect, exploring other organizational factors (cooperate government, organizational culture, business model, corporate strategy, among others) is recommended, since they might be contributing for the firm to participate in peacebuilding processes in Colombia

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1For this study’s purposes, a multinational is understood as a firm who carries out investments in places different from its headquarters location by means of integrated operations, which translate as the process of integration to the economy of the countries where it operates (Ehrhardt and Brigham, 2007).

2The business sector is understood as the group of organizations who produce and distribute goods and services needed by States and society in general, and which are actually constituted as wealth generating alternative (Rettberg and Rivas, 2012). Ion this document, the terms “business organization”, “company” and “business sector” are used indistinctively.

3Grounded Theory encompasses three stages: open codification, axial codification and selective codification. This study followed the procedure up to the axial codification stage.

4The Global Pact determines the adoption of 10 non-binding principles organized from the following topics: Human rights, Work Norms, Environment, and Fight Against Corruption (Deloitte and United Nations Global Compact, 2010).

5This reporting system uses a multistakeholders focus and is ascribed to the triple bottom line perspective economic, environmental and social sustainability (Global Reporting Initiative & Global Compact, 2007).

6To know the indicators making up the social dimension consult: http://centroregionalpmal.org/web-pacto/esp/?q=node/258.

7“the analytical process through which concepts are identified and data’s properties and dimensions discovered”

8“Phenomenon which has been labeled” (Strauss and Corbin, 2002, p.112).

9They result from the process of grouping concepts under more abstract explicative terms (Strauss and Corbin, 2002).

10“process of linking categories and their subcategories, denominated “axial” because codification occurs around the axis of a category, and ties categories with regards to their properties and dimensions” (Strauss and Corbin, 2002, p. 134).

11Analitical-type tool which links the estructure to the process (Strauss and Corbin, 2002).

12For more information about each one, check:Hernández, Fernández and Baptista (2010, p. 294).

13No categories were defined with the “actions and interactions” role. According to Hernández et al, (2010), “not in every research based on grounded theory, all roles from the categories are derived” (p. 494).

Received: April 19, 2017; Revised: May 17, 2017; Accepted: August 14, 2017

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