Assessing the Effects of Disruptive Issues on the CSR of Canadian Multinational Gold Companies
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Mining activities provide significant economic and social benefits to Canada, and to the areas in which Canadian multinational mining companies operate internationally. However, mining activities also present both social and environmental issues. Despite the efforts to mitigate these issues through a number of risk management tools, including those of corporate social responsibility (CSR), they continue to take place. Through the lens of organizational attention, this thesis sought to answer the question, How do mining issues affect the CSR policies and practices of Canadian multinational gold companies? Through an exploratory sequential mixed-methods research design, 14 Canadian senior- and intermediate-level multinational gold companies were selected as the sample of this thesis. Data from five semi-structured interviews revealed that issues affect risk management systems, environmental and social issues are responded to differently, and issues spur the development of industry standards. Data also revealed that no single issue was paramount in causing behavioural change within the sample, but instead the occurrence of issues is one of many reasons for making changes in CSR practice. A content analysis was undertaken to assess whether the differences in identifying and responding to environmental and social issues found in the interviews was reflected in the corporate reports of the 14 companies in the sample. Results suggest that social issues tend to have a lingering effect as compared with environmental issues. This thesis contributes to the academic literature by providing evidence as to how Canadian gold mining companies identify and respond to environmental and social issues, as well as why these companies identify the risk of certain issues and not others. This thesis identifies the need for industry practitioners to find best practices to identify and respond to issues, particularly on the social side. One way to do this is for an industry association to develop a forum where companies that have faced certain social issues can collaborate and develop prescribed ways to address these issues.
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Sophia Esmail (2017). Assessing the Effects of Disruptive Issues on the CSR of Canadian Multinational Gold Companies. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12651