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Development on whose terms?: CSR discourse and social realities in Papua New Guinea's extractive industries sector

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  • Gilberthorpe, Emma
  • Banks, Glenn
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    Abstract

    The emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the extractive industries represents a bid to legitimize the sector after decades of environmental disasters and the trampling of indigenous rights. But whilst the rise in CSR has meant safer technologies and better stakeholder engagement, there is little evidence of any real socio-economic development at the grassroots. This paper examines the uneasy relationship existing between the strategic ‘business model’ of CSR and the brand of development it delivers. Using evidence from two multinational extractive industries in Papua New Guinea, we show how weaknesses in CSR practice come from greater emphasis on meeting global ‘performance standards’ than on the specificities of the social contexts in which strategies are implemented. These weaknesses, we argue, lead to ill-conceived and inappropriate development programmes that generate inequality, fragmentation, and social and economic insecurity. We conclude that greater engagement with affected communities will facilitate the development of more mutually beneficial and appropriate CSR strategies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resources Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 185-193

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:2:p:185-193

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30467

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    Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Sustainable development; Resource extraction; Mining; Social organization; Papua New Guinea;

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    1. Cowell, Sarah J. & Wehrmeyer, Walter & Argust, Peter W. & Robertson, J. Graham S., 1999. "Sustainability and the primary extraction industries: theories and practice," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 277-286, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Giuliani, Elisa, 2014. "Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries’ Industrial Clusters," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2014/9, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    2. Caxaj, C. Susana & Berman, Helene & Varcoe, Colleen & Ray, Susan L. & Restoulec, Jean-Paul, 2014. "Gold mining on Mayan-Mam territory: Social unravelling, discord and distress in the Western highlands of Guatemala," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 50-57.
    3. Kemp, Deanna & Owen, John R., 2013. "Community relations and mining: Core to business but not “core business”," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 523-531.
    4. Banks, Glenn, 2013. "Little by little, inch by inch: Project expansion assessments in the Papua New Guinea mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 688-695.

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