Any business, in any locale, has a vested interest in protecting its employees and the physical property it possesses-buildings, raw materials, finished products, or whatever else is related to its particular function. The extent of security to attempt to prevent workplace violence is a factor of locale of the business, the attitudes of the people and government(s) being affected by those businesses, and the conduct of the business people themselves in relating to their neighbors, whether they are foreign or not.
Employers have a responsibility and a legal obligation to create safe working environments where their employees are able to work in a place free from harm or danger. I would argue that this is something that is just as important in the US as it is for any employees who work abroad.
No matter where a company is established, we Americans tend to think that we have certain human rights that carry into every aspect of our lives; and that includes the workplace. Once one person hurts another person, for example, rights have been violated. Any situation can turn on the company for being their responsibility at any time and they could be held responsible. When things go wrong, the first thing the media, or anyone does, is go to the boss. Why didn't the boss know about the problem? If s/he did know about the situation, what did they do to prevent it? The public, governments, employees and investors all want to know about the leadership and policies of a company before they go into business with them. Without a strong policy protecting human rights, a company would not go very far in the west.
Americans are often targets of terrorist violence in foreign countries, so steps should be taken by both employer and employee regarding safety measures. In addition to a safe workplace, foreign workers should also be sure that their homes are in a safe area with strong security. Crimes against foreign workers make for bad press, and businesses can suffer more than just financial losses.
It would depend, I suppose on the workplace, and the country, but I can't see where workplace violence would be anymore prevalent overseas than here. If somebody is working for an American firm in an area known to be dangerous, then that is one thing, but I wouldn't exactly categorize that as workplace violence.
It is not likely to be any more of a concern overseas than at home given how workplace violence does occur here as well. There might be more of a need to protect workers against things like attacks from rebels in unstable countries, though. This would be more likely to be needed in other (poorer) countries.
My stepfather, an American citizen. works for a company in Africa. I was amazed by the lengths they took to insure the safety of their employees. My mother was extremely concerned about his safety and felt much better after hearing about the measures the company took to insure a safe workplace.
If people did not feel safe then the companies would have a hard time finding employees. I think that insuring a safe workplace is a key concern for business operating overseas.
Because you said business, then violence in a work place has to be a key issue if it can cost the business profits. The only variables will be what violence is customary for the location and what the costs are to prevent or compensate for the violence.
The cost for doing business in a violent location often excludes the location from actually doing business. While many in N.America and Europe tend to think that a low level of violence is "normal". However it is one of the more valuable assets that make the more expensive labor in there attractive.
Nothing justifies violence.
Violence against others is something very bad.
And every person engaged in violence, should be punished.