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The science of corporate social responsibility (CSR): Contamination and conflict in a mining project in the southern Ecuadorian Andes


  • Velásquez, Teresa A.


In this article, I explain the role that scientific studies play in shaping collaboration and conflict over mining exploration in the Ecuadorian highlands. Toronto-based IAMGOLD conducted water quality studies to simultaneously fulfill legal obligations and secure support for drilling in an environmentally sensitive zone. With these studies, IAMGOLD generated collaborative relations with local authorities and university scientists. However, water quality studies were also used by dairy farmers to establish new connections for an opposition movement. The scientific studies enabled IAMGOLD and the dairy farmers to make competing claims about the responsibility for contamination of an important watershed. This article analyzes the conflict that resulted and challenges conventional wisdom that distinguishes a corporation's legal obligations from its voluntary CSR programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Velásquez, Teresa A., 2012. "The science of corporate social responsibility (CSR): Contamination and conflict in a mining project in the southern Ecuadorian Andes," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 233-240.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:2:p:233-240
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2011.10.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ralph Hamann & Paul Kapelus, 2004. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Mining in Southern Africa: Fair accountability or just greenwash?," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 47(3), pages 85-92, September.
    2. Lisa Calvano, 2008. "Multinational Corporations and Local Communities: A Critical Analysis of Conflict," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 793-805, November.
    3. Gunningham, Neil & Kagan, Robert & Thornton, Dorothy, 2002. "Social licence and environmental protection: why businesses go beyond compliance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35990, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. John Sharp, 2006. "Corporate social responsibility and development: An anthropological perspective," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 213-222.
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