Corporate Diplomacy: The Strategy for a Volatile, Fragmented Business Environment

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9780470848906: Corporate Diplomacy: The Strategy for a Volatile, Fragmented Business Environment

Based on a wealth of empirical studies and case studies, this book explains the strategic choices companies have to make in order to remain consistent. In each chapter, real-life examples illuminate the key message managers should take away from the book. It offers a purely managerial viewpoint focused on what managers can do to manage the business enviroment in any situation.

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From the Back Cover:

"Ulrich Steger’s new book, Corporate Diplomacy, opens the door to a new perception of what responsible and sustainable leadership is all about and broadens our vision to better grasp the complexity of the global agenda."
Jürgen Dormann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Aventis SA

"This book is a timely reminder that we are all sitting in the same boat, whether we represent business, NGOs or government: we all carry a joint, yet differentiated responsibility for the fate of future generations. For me it is also a stark manifestation of the fact that diplomacy simply understood as defence strategy, or a tactic to camouflage discord, is not sustainable. Corporate diplomacy hinges on the social and environmental responsibility and the credibility of a company, as much as it is about explaining and positioning its business case."
Dr Claude Martin, Director General, WWF International

"Ulrich Steger deals with the challenges of how to communicate efficiently with public networks, whether they are governments, unions, NGOs, the press or the general public, both in normal times and in times of corporate crises. The IMD background of Ulrich Steger guarantees that we are not exposed to theory but to well researched and structured practice."
Hans-Dietrich Winkhaus, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom, former CEO of Henkel

"Whatever happens with globalization, corporate diplomacy will be a twenty-first century growth area, and Ulrich Steger is particularly well qualified to explore the emerging agenda and get under the skin of the new breed of corporate diplomats. But read this book well. Above all, understand the competing styles of diplomacy - from 'Nice Guy' through to 'Stealth Bomber' - before you take the plunge."
John Elkington, Co-founder and Chairman of SustainAbility

"Rather than traversing the familiar ground of 'corporate social responsibility', Corporate Diplomacy charts a new course, more appropriate to the turbulent and uncertain waters that lie ahead. With the anti-globalization wave on the rise, and its associated swarm of internet-savvy NGOs, organized criminals, and global terrorists, 'managing stakeholders' will no longer be sufficient. More important will be the development of a corporate 'early warning system' that seeks out weak signals, engages extreme views, and engenders open-mindedness. In this book, Steger has provided both the strategic logic and the tools to chart this course."
Professor Stuart Hart, Director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina

"Corporate Diplomacy deals with a topic that has become highly relevant for corporations: how companies should best address a public policy agenda which increasingly includes sustainability issues outside the traditional role of business to create wealth and jobs. The book offers valuable insights and advice to corporate management on how to fulfil this new diplomatic role."
Bjöorn Stigson, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

From the Inside Flap:

Corporations are first and foremost economic entities, but they are also intrinsically linked to the wider world. Consequently they are increasingly subjected to explicit, and implicit claims from regulators, NGOs, investors and employees. Many organizations have found ways of dealing with the "goldfish bowl" transparency created by globalization, the Internet and the media, but the way they react depends largely on the level of external pressure to which they are subjected. Few see it as a strategic issue.

Companies in general, and the most powerful ones in particular, tend to be insensitive to the business environment and often consider themselves to be invincible. This book argues against this irresponsible attitude. Underestimating the importance of stakeholders never pays off as companies such as Nike, Coca Cola, McDonalds, General Electric, Ford, and Exxon – just to name some recent and prominent victims - have all found to their cost.

Corporate Diplomacy focuses on the strategic choices that companies have to make in order to keep to their business agenda and retain credibility with their stakeholders and the world at large by managing conflict or by co-operation.

Based on a wealth of empirical studies, personal experience, and rigorous research, this book provides managers with an Early Awareness System that will alert them to any potential areas of conflict on the horizon. It has also developed a strategic approach and complementary toolkit to help companies deal responsibly and strategically with a fragmented, volatile, and sometimes hostile business environment.

This is not a book on crisis management; it is a book on preventing the crisis you don’t want to manage.

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