‘Inherited commitments’: do changes in ownership affect corporate social responsibility (CSR) at African gold mines?
Hilson, G. (2011) ‘Inherited commitments’: do changes in ownership affect corporate social responsibility (CSR) at African gold mines? African Journal of Business Management, 5 (27). pp. 10921-10939. ISSN 1993-8233
To link to this article DOI: 10.5897/AJBM10.1608
This paper critically examines the issue of ‘inherited corporate social responsibility’ in the gold mining industry, focusing specifically on the case of sub-Saharan Africa, a region plagued with excessive corruption, rampant poverty and weak governance. Whilst there appears to be little incentive to proactively engage with communities and implement cutting-edge environmental policies in the region, mine managers argue otherwise, highlighting a number of reasons for embracing corporate social responsibility (CSR). After briefly reviewing the philosophical underpinnings of CSR, the paper provides an in-depth analysis of these arguments, in the process, underscoring how tenuous the case for CSR in the extractive industries, and gold mining more specifically, is in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. Following a change in ownership, new management faces few pressures to embrace CSR in its entirety and therefore, more often than not, finds itself in a position to implement programs and policies of its choice. More research is needed that further popularizes the issue of ‘inherited CSR’ in the gold mining sector and extractive industries more generally.