By October 22, 2018 October 23rd, 2018 Uncategorized

Call for Papers: The Ethics of War and Peace.

Michael Schwartz and Howard Harris for Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations

To win without fighting is best. So wrote Sun Tzu in The Art of War over 2000 years ago. Strategy is highly relevant in organizations and The Art of War is ‘perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world today’; it is ‘a study of the anatomy organizations in conflict’.

Leo Tolstoy insisted that his masterpiece, War and Peace (1869), was not a novel. Neither, Tolstoy claimed, was it a historical chronicle. But it has a plot and involves organizations at many levels – family, ballroom, military, government. In 1925 Winston Churchill wrote that ‘the story of the human race is War’ and currently nations, political groups, companies and other organizations are engaged in “wars” of greater or lesser impact. One could say that wars run amok. China and America are involved in a burgeoning trade war which many suspect heralds the end of globalization. America wages a war on drugs and a war on terror. In Kenya there is a war against ivory poachers. GreenPeace is challenging whalers. YouTube and Spotify have disrupted the Music Industry. Historians are at loggerheads over interpreting the past in the history wars. Audi billboards confront BMW billboards. Traditional bookstores are at war with online retailers. Environmentalists are at war with coal miners. Animal rights activists are at war with companies testing their products on animals. Hermes is at war with counterfeiters. Dogs are at war with cats. Being at war is no longer restricted to armed conflict between nations.

And so we have a call for papers which asks you to explore the ethics of war and – if you so like – of peace and the implications of either for organizational ethics. If – as some insist – beauty is in the eye of the beholder – so is war and so is peace. So please mobilize your war, or enlist your peace, and submit a paper which explores the implications thereof for organizational ethics.

There can be no doubt that the war waged by organizations such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and other such luxury good manufacturers against counterfeiters has enormous ethical implications both for those organizations and their stakeholders. Intellectual property rights and supply chain integrity are in question as counterfeiting becomes more prevalent, more profitable, and the luxury firms fight back. All such conflict has ethical implications: we mention luxury goods by way of example. It is not our intent to limit the discussion. We welcome your suggestions. Peter Drucker discussed the rise of organizations. Today they are ubiquitous. Some are for profit organizations, others are not. Ethical issues emerge for those organizations when they go to war, engage in strategic conflict, or fight back against predators. In this issue of Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations we hope to explore the reality of such situations.

Both descriptions of conflict in organizations and conceptual analysis of war-like activity will be welcome. Please submit completed papers which conform with the author guidelines by email to Michael Schwartz at before the 15th of February 2019. All papers will be double blind reviewed.

If you have any enquiries please do not hesitate to contact Michael Schwartz ( or Howard Harris (

WS Churchill. (1925). Shall we all commit suicide? In Thoughts and Adventures. London: Odhams, 1947, pp. 184-191.

Sun Tzu. (1988). The Art of War (T. Cleary, Trans.). Boston MA: Shambhala.

L Tolstoy.(2004). War and Peace (C Garnett, Trans). New York NY: Penguin Random House.