The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention

Category: Conflict, Dell, Theories
Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
Pages: 4 Views: 2434

In the article "The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention" by Thomas L. Friedman, the author hypothesizes that no two countries will probably engage in war if they are part of the same major supply chain. Friedman throughout the paper argues the theory by presenting the example of Dell because it is one of the world's major supply chain networks. This paper will analyze how Friedman, superficially, talks about maintaining world peace through major global supply change but upon closer examination, the author states that the new forms of collaborations have connected in a communicational web creating a "flat world" at the cost of a state of a complete defenselessness.

This theory summarizes that due to economic affiliations of the countries with each other, it is not probable that these countries will actually engage in war. Multinational corporations or MLCs maintain a diversified and well-functioning supply chain in order to complete the finished goods. Friedman said as such organizations having economic interests in such countries which are part of such supply chain, therefore, may not engage into war with each other.

Friedman, therefore, argued that countries do not just want to upgrade the living standards of their citizens but rather want to create a critical mass of labor forces created mainly due to the overall process of globalization. As such, the smaller and developing countries will not wish to risk the trust of the global companies due to whom these countries have actually become part of the global economy. War will, therefore, reduce the importance and role of such countries in the global trade and resultantly such countries will suffer if they become part of any conflict in the shape of war or other conflicts.

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The Dell theory of conflict prevention is an extended version of an existing Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention. Friedman's Golden Arches theory stipulates that " when a country reached a level of economic development where it had a middle class big enough to support a network of McDonald's, it became a McDonald's country" where people didn't like to fight anymore. This symbolized that the country was now part global trade, thus improving standards of living. This theory had to be updated because due to the rise of McDonald's every country now had a McDonald's. But the MLCs go through a far more deliberation for building a factory in another country than to open a

McDonald's. Global Organisations never want to lose money, therefore, symbolizing the potential economic growth.
Friedman explains that when two countries are part of the same supply chain, they are interdependent of each other acting as producers of the goods and services that have created long-awaited economic stability. Once a country has increased these standards of living, and experienced a thriving economy, they will do anything to keep the bonds of the chain.

The economic stability has woven a net and connected these countries to the global economy. This is a sign of a developing country. Using Friedman's example, Dell connected the economies of China, Taiwan, Malaysia and many more countries giving a rise to an economic security. But, this also gave a rise to radicalized countries.

Friedman, in his paper, mentions violence "hot spots". According to Friedman, these " hot spots" place where conflict and violence are common. These are countries which are not a part of any major global supply chain. Because these countries are not tied to any supply chain, they are more readily violent and aggressive with other countries. That is why countries like North Korea, Iran or Pakistan have remained today's " hot spots". Since there are no supply chains these countries are not comparatively connected to the global economy. Thus, do not have an economic stability. These countries are eager to go to war because that would be a technological and economic boost. Therefore, collaboration through the global supply chain is necessary for world peace.

The world after the 21st century has molded flatter by the day. The introduction of the internet has connected the world from every corner. The communication has grown stronger and wider by the hour. This communicational web has allowed the global organizations to create these deep supply chains. This paper has looked at the positives of the supply chain and the communications network. But some of these supply chains could evolve into a mutant supply chain. Al Qaeda, for example, is a supply chain with no restrictions. The growth of these mutant supply chain has led us to live in a chronic state of fear. Supplying computer hardware or ammunition, everything is possible because of the growth of communications.

Though the " flat world" has connected the world, it has come at a cost. Communication has turned the world into a collaborative society. But if the collaborative society doesn't work like a well-oiled machine, one tiny comment can cause a war. Everyone wants the society to evolve but deep down everyone is scared. Everyone has a right to speak in the "flat world", hence, any one of the 7.5 billion people could cause a war. The constant state of defencelessness is the price to pay for gaining the perks of substantial world peace.

World peace has been a concern for many political leaders throughout the globe but, no one has any solution. The collaboration of the nations through global trade has maintained peace except in the "hot spots". However, some of the supply chains have transformed them into mutant supply chains. These supply chains are keeping us in a complete defenselessness is because the "flat world" communications can cause a war within a matter of days.

The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention only works because the company's interest is economic gains through stability. This, however, is a temporary safety net. There is no permanent solution for misuse of the collaborative society and the communication networks. Collaboration in society symbolizes betterment and development but it can be misused and radicalized. The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention shows the society the power of collaboration. Till the collaboration is put for the right need, Mankind can be improved by the moment.

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The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention. (2018, Aug 27). Retrieved from

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