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Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Part of the Pentalemma Series on Managing Global Dilemmas

Dylan Scudder

Against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized business environment, this book provides readers with a pragmatic approach to international management of complex issues that arise from the tension between fiduciary and ethical priorities. If the challenge of management is making decisions in situations of uncertainty, Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the ultimate test of finding business solutions in extremely volatile situations. Based on firsthand experience and years of rigorous research, this book leverages a real-world case of a global tech company grappling with the dilemma of whether to continue sourcing a vital mineral in the conflict-affected region of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the risk of ruining its reputation or to suffer the immediate financial consequences of pulling out. Putting readers in the role of consultants to a client operating in the area lets them experience defining moments of managing with limited information, time pressure and a dwindling budget. Almost as if „parachuting“ into an escalating conflict scenario, readers form critical relationships with characters that introduce them to management tools and techniques they need to arrive at a successful conclusion. The excitement and intensity of Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo equips business leaders of today and tomorrow with valuable know-how they can apply to the uncertainties of everyday business in an international context.

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It was Johan Galtung, “Johan” as he preferred, who introduced me to conflict theory as a way of applying creative thinking to seemingly impossible problems, and as a way of making work and life more meaningful. Johan recommended me to an MA program in peace and conflict studies in 1996, which I enrolled in the following year. For the next four years, I traveled extensively with him to mediation interventions, lectures and workshops in Okinawa and across Europe. Johan offered me a position in his NGO, Transcend, and advised me on my master’s thesis that explored the Transcend method of conflict transformation. During this time, he also arranged for me to do an internship at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, which opened for me a rewarding career path at the UN and later in business and academia. Those first years with Johan were some of the most intense, educational and adventurous ones of my life. Each day was filled with hard work, friendship and more humor than two people should ever be allowed to enjoy.

Ian Green was Chief of the United Nations Training Section in Geneva when he hired me as a training coordinator. Ian generously ←xiii | xiv→gave me the space to experiment and discover how to create productive learning environments. Though this proved quite costly for him at times, he always went out of his way to make sure I had everything I needed to grow professionally. I can do the work...

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