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Coffee and Conflict in Colombia

Part of the Pentalemma Series on Managing Global Dilemmas

Dylan Scudder

Against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized business environment, the book provides readers with a pragmatic approach to strategic 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, Coffee and Conflict in Colombia is the ultimate test of finding business solutions in extremely volatile situations. Based on firsthand experience on-site and years of rigorous research, this book leverages a real-world case of a global coffee consortium facing the challenge of negotiating wages for its farmworkers during a low-intensity conflict in and around Colombia. Beyond the direct consequences of the negotiation, many farmworkers are ready to join local militia if a wage deal cannot be reached, thereby fueling the cycle of local instability and violence. Putting readers in the role of consultants to a client operating in the area lets them experience defining moments of managing this high-stakes situation with limited information and considerable time pressure. 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 Coffee and Conflict in Colombia equips business leaders of today and tomorrow with valuable know-how they can apply to the uncertainties of everyday business in an international context.