Making Corporate Social Responsibility Fit: From Idea to Implementation
Trippel, Dorothy Anna
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Responding to changing social expectations about corporate behavior, mining companies have adopted Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in a strategic effort to manage stakeholder impacts, undertaking initiatives that highlight sustainability in order to unite diverse stakeholders around a common interest. This constitutes an industry-wide attempt to re-image the industry as one that cares about its social and environmental impacts and one that is responsive to public concern in order to secure legitimacy and a social license to operate. However, industry efforts are often criticized as superficial. Now that CSR has established a framework for discussing the mining industry's social impacts, opportunities exists for industry, academia, and community to collaboratively deepen the conceptualization of "responsibility" and "impact" by focusing on the broad social questions about business and society, whose impetus gave rise to CSR. In order for this to happen, future academic research should concentrate on contributing anthropological and sociological interpretations of CSR to the existing economic and business ones, documenting community perspectives, studying the structure and culture of mining corporations, and creating interdisciplinary research projects that synthesize multiple interpretations and perspectives. In this report, a general exploration of the CSR, its elusive definition, its conceptual roots in broad questions about the relationship between business and society in the 1950's and 1960's, its relationship to stakeholder theory, and its business-case appeal, provides the background for a more in depth discussion of its place within the mining industry.