The Role of Business in Creating Common Ground: Music, Sports, Pets, and Other Cultural Artifacts as a Tool for Bridging Divides


Location: Virtual Event

Tim Fort

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Timothy Fort

Eveleigh Professor of Business Ethics and Professor of Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Kirsten Martin

William P. and Hazel B. White Center Professor of Technology Ethics, Mendoza College of Business.

This presentation builds on the notion that cross-cutting membership in organizations (traditionally referred to as mediating institutions) provides an avenue for individuals who may be at odds on political and social issues to engage civilly. To the extent that there has been a lessening of such institutions, could “cultural artifacts,” especially utilized in the workplace serve as modern-day mediating common ground to overcome cultural divides and thereby foster peace?    

In this presentation, Fort will review literature from the past 20 years that sets out a matrix of the orientations of businesses toward peace and explore the differing roles businesses can play in promoting peace.

He will also explore ways the workplace can be a place where peacebuilding cultures develop and can replicate relatively nonviolent societies. And finally, Fort’s lecture will explore newer research suggesting that “cultural artifacts” such as music, sports, film, literature, cuisine, religion, and yes, even pets, can provide the touchstones for individuals who may otherwise fiercely disagree with one another to find common grounds for constructive engagement.  

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This event is co-sponsored by the Mendoza College of Business