Interdisciplinary perspectives on: The Idea of Corporate Public Diplomacy and How it Differs from State Public Diplomacy

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling


Corporate public diplomacy is a business approach to collaborate, solve problems, and build long-term relationships with people living in foreign communities where transnational corporations invest. It is a supplement to other forms of corporate diplomacy, such as those with governments, international organizations, NGOs, and other businesses. Corporate diplomacy is an umbrella concept that draws on literature from many fields, including political CSR and international relations.
The thesis takes seriously the current anger expressed by people who do not belong to the well-educated elite and insist on being taken seriously. States invented diplomacy, partly to avoid costly wars, and in a global world, where the largest transnational corporations are as powerful in terms of economic resources and as influential as most states, this thesis argues that corporations can learn from state diplomacy when they strive to create reliable working environments and avoid costly (violent) conflicts with local host communities. The idea is discussed in the light of two cases: Exxon-Mobile in Aceh and China Power Investment Corporation in Kachin.
Corporate public diplomacy is an alternative approach to firms dealing with local host communities. The more traditional methods are to use hard power and the legal system to enforce corporate rights and/or to apply pity-based CSR.
The thesis contributes to current research with the idea of corporate public diplomacy and how it differs from state public diplomacy. Using an international relations framework as an organizing tool, it points to two approaches to state public diplomacy and three approaches to corporate public diplomacy. There are many legitimacy issues related to corporate diplomacy, and some of them are discussed in one of the five published articles included.
Three other articles relate to trust research. The thesis contributes with a suggestion as to how state public diplomacy can be linked to international trust; how trust relates to norms and crisis; how forms of trust develop over time during a conflict, and how some people – including leaders – may seek advice from an inner knowing that I have termed spiritual trust.
Finally, for the scholars wanting to engage in corporate public diplomacy research, a list of ideas is included as inspiration.
ForlagRoskilde Universitet
Antal sider219
StatusUdgivet - 22 aug. 2019
NavnFS & P Ph.D. afhandlinger

Note vedr. afhandling

Defense took place August 22, 2019, at RUC.


  • Corporate Diplomacy
  • Public Diplomacy
  • International Relations
  • Trust
  • Legitimacy
  • Norms

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