GBS Blog

Why Business Diplomacy Matters in International Relations Careers

May 3, 2018 3:51:13 PM / by Geneva Business School

master in international relations

Globalization has made business diplomacy essential in a variety of sectors, from world trade to sustainable development. Channelling private interests through geo-political insight, business diplomacy improves dialogue between companies, governments, and international organizations.

As corporate interests and incentives continue to shape the global landscape, business diplomacy skills are increasingly important in internationally focused MBA programs. These skills help professionals thrive at the nexus of global business, balancing private interests with those of powerful international actors. 

Are you curious to know more about the importance of business diplomacy for international relations careers? Read on to find out.

Business Diplomacy is Crucial for International Business and Trade

On the world stage, business diplomacy helps companies succeed over competitors, forging strong and ethical partnerships with governments, NGOs and international organizations. These relationships prize continued collaboration with international actors, and help standardize practices for professionals in all affected sectors.  

Professionals with business diplomacy expertise help their companies develop influence through networking strategies, public relations and corporate social responsibility initiatives. They can also appraise international trade and evaluate the influence of international organizations – an important skill set for companies of all sizes. While conventional wisdom might suggest that business diplomacy is solely the concern of large multinational companies, businesses of all sizes can benefit from it.

International NGOs Draw on Key Business Diplomacy Skills

Business diplomacy skills are also advantageous for students eyeing NGO work after their international relations courses. While most approaches to business diplomacy typically focus on the private sector, diplomatic strategies also help non-governmental and non-profit organizations pursue their international objectives. Learning about business diplomacy prepares professionals for leadership positions in international organizations and NGOs, helping them adapt to the demands of the global finance and international business markets.

international relations coursesBusiness diplomacy skills help professionals become better negotiators   

Perhaps most importantly, business diplomacy training helps international organizations gauge financial incentives among potential private industry collaborators. This insight can lead to important partnerships with international companies, leveraging business interests in risk management, market development, and contract compliance. As the United Nations notes, some of the world’s greatest challenges are best addressed through private-public partnerships, such as MTV’s UN-partnered Staying Alive Foundation for global HIV/Aids awareness.

Business Diplomacy Builds International Relations Careers in Sustainable Development

Diplomatic business skills also help MBA students pursue international relations careers in sustainable development. Business diplomacy will be crucial as international players look to a sustainable future – especially with businesses renewing environmental commitments through corporate social responsibility.  Experience in this area helps sustainable development professionals encourage and evaluate corporate commitments to key environmental outcomes.

international relations careersBusiness backgrounds will help professionals harmonize environmental and commercial interests

Green finance is also an important opportunity for professionals with a business diplomacy background. Leveraging business incentives – especially debt and equity – for tangible environmental action, green finance encourages corporations to pursue sustainable business options.

The Global Environment Facility estimates that $400-600 billion per annum is needed for conservation efforts around the world. For professionals in sustainable development, diplomatic business skills will be crucial in helping the international community meet this financial need and commit to a sustainable future.

Are you hoping to develop business diplomacy skills with a Master in International Relations? Contact Geneva Business School to learn more about our program!

Topics: international relations careers, master in international relations, international relations courses

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