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Wayne Visser | Revolvy

Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Bulawayo , Rhodesia Zimbabwe. Retrieved 8 January Fast Company. Journal of International Business Ethics. Rochester, NY. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. CSR 2. SpringerBriefs in Business. Zacuto USA. Wayne Visser. Kaleidoscope Futures. Kaleidoscope Futures Ltd. Making a Difference. Mueller e. DGM Icfai Books. South Africa: Reasons to Believe! Cape Town: Aardvark Press.

Beyond Reasonable Greed 1st ed. Namespaces Article Talk. Visser, The Age of Responsibility. View all notes are approaches to corporate citizenship that broadly posit that businesses will be more successful where they create value for both themselves and the local communities, govern responsibly and act with environmental integrity. How then might shifting approaches to CSR and community engagement shape dynamics of long-standing social conflicts in extractive sectors?

We consider this question using a case study of alumina refining operations of Vale and Hydro in Barcarena in the Brazilian Amazon over the past four decades. We utilise open-ended qualitative interviews with civil society, industry and government stakeholders combined with analysis of secondary material on the CSR approaches of Vale and Hydro. We find that paternalistic approaches of Vale led to deep resentment and mistrust stemming from under-development and environmental damages. Moreover, while Hydro sought to deepen community engagement and build legitimacy since it assumed majority ownership in , the company today struggles with legacies inherited from Vale and the deficiencies in their own CSR approach.

This has been further exacerbated by the release of chemical tailings water in to local rivers in February , leaving Hydro mired in an ongoing operational crisis. To reduce social conflicts, it would therefore be wise of EI firms to fully engage with the past, present and future operational impacts of their activities, and develop shared visions with communities to address short-term social and ecological challenges and long-term institutional challenges. EI companies are criticised for adverse social, environmental, political and economic impacts. View all notes While violent conflicts often receive attention, 11 Such as the protracted insurgency in the Niger Delta in Nigeria.

View all notes social conflicts — the continuum of everyday contention and grievances a community expresses against EI corporations — are inherent in the EI.

Such grievances can lead to intractable social conflicts. Operations of EI firms have a real or perceived effect of damaging environmental commons and inadequately supporting local development or resource sharing, which can undergird local opposition. Moreover, this often intersects with existing power dynamics in extractive regions, and can be tied to longstanding political, cultural, geographic or identity-based forms of exclusion or oppression.

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View all notes This confluence of historical and contemporary factors can lead to enduring opposition to extraction. Where this occurs, communities engage in both semi-organised disruptive activities designed to affect operations and place political pressure on companies and governments. Often increasingly empowered and connected 15 View all notes local communities voice grievances to elicit some form of concession or dialogue from companies, or political response — such as environmental regulation — from government.

For companies, the operational and reputational risks of social conflict are clear. View all notes Strikes, protests and riots can disrupt production, logistics, supply chains, materially damage facilities or assets, and further stoke resentment among workers or local communities. Procedural opposition, including formal complaints or legal actions, can be just as disruptive, with new regulations or injunctions radically delaying existing operations or halting explorations into new projects. View all notes Companies voluntarily integrate policies and regulations concerning CSR into their operational strategies, 19 View all notes with a greater onus on meaningfully contributing to social development.

View all notes Yet beyond CSR as organisational risk management in precarious environments 21 View all notes there is value in firms building relations and long-term legitimacy and creating value for local communities. Zandvliet and Anderson, Getting it Right.

View all notes In establishing mutually beneficial relationships — or shared value 23 View all notes — between companies and civil society, open engagement and mitigating negative socio-environmental impacts is central. View all notes These relationships underpin the SLO, where companies establish legitimacy, credibility and trust with local communities 25 Dare et al.

View all notes through activities including social programmes, basic service delivery, vocational training, and local development or infrastructure projects.

Wayne Visser

McNab et al. Yet the potential for CSR to address conflicts and deliver societal benefits varies depending on underlying logics.


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Berger et al. View all notes CSR may be explicit, where firms expressly internalise their responsibility for societal interests, or implicit where firms simply deliver the mandatory and customary obligations of corporate actors. View all notes Impact also depends on how strategies are implemented at the global and local levels or within companies, as well-designed and intentioned CSR portfolios may in certain cases carry little weight in the firms overall strategic decisions. Given this, CSR activities are often criticised as a branding or greenwashing activity that fails to meaningfully create positive impacts for local communities, and even as an action which may shape further conflicts.

View all notes However, while firms often do not properly internalise costs of social conflicts, 30 View all notes CSR activities are core to their successful long-term operational strategies 31 View all notes and are central to how businesses can contribute to prosperous and peaceful societies. This case examines trajectories of resources companies Vale and Hydro in Barcarena municipality Figures 1 and 2.

Location of Barcarena. Figure 2. Map of industrial facilities and communities in Barcarena. In the late s, the Brazilian state-owned utility Vale was established in Barcarena. Numerous EI companies and associated services followed in subsequent years. Vale was privatised in , becoming one of the largest extractive companies in the world.

In examining these companies, we use a qualitative case study methodology with a semi-structured interview design. As methodological challenges abound in studies of business—society relations, 33 Crane et al. View all notes there is considerable scope for qualitative methodologies to elucidate motivations, intentions, perceptions and mechanisms underlying business—society interactions.

View all notes Moreover, this strategy is suitable for engaging with management stakeholders about business strategies, impacts and challenges, and with vulnerable populations to elaborate on socially or politically contentious topics. Rather than testing specific hypotheses, our approach identified perspectives of relevant populations and built a narrative from their responses focusing on the drivers of social conflicts between EI companies and civil society in Barcarena; and how CSR approaches intersected with these. In applying this methodology, research findings emerged through a consensus of voices over multiple field visits and interviews.

Over four field visits to Barcarena in and we conducted semi-structured interviews with approximately respondents. These included current and former CSR staff with Hydro , employees at Alunorte who had worked under both Vale and Hydro , community leaders, local municipal politicians, academics, NGO leaders, and community residents. We also consulted key strategy documents related to company policies and procedures to CSR, community outreach documents, and reports from local NGOs. Purposive sampling identified managerial interviewees at Hydro in Norway and Brazil and expanded using snowball techniques.

Local politicians were purposively selected based on relevant portfolios and engagement with local multistakeholder dialogue projects, 35 View all notes as were NGOs that coordinated these dialogue efforts. In selecting local residents, we applied a snowball sampling approach, with multiple visits to multiple field sites and communities in Barcarena. We also purposively sought to represent a cross-section age, gender and socio-economic status among the sample of local populations.

Wayne Visser

All respondents are anonymised, and all communities remain non-specified other than being in the Barcarena municipality. Data were triangulated across respondents to understand the challenges related to civil society—company engagement, identify core aspects of CSR under Vale and Hydro, and identify relevant challenges and opportunities for future conflict resolution. Where they reflect representative views of populations interviewed, we use respondent quotations which elucidate the experiences, perceptions and concerns about business and political actions and impacts in the community, community-company relations and CSR strategy.

Interviews were primarily conducted in Portuguese with a local gatekeeper, translated by authors and assistants to English and edited for clarity. Selected interviews with Hydro managers were conducted in English. We attach in an appendix our Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research COREQ checklist, a standardised robustness assessment for qualitative research. Tong et al. We considered alternative explanations for our findings. First, conflicts might remain due to Hydro merely replicating approaches of Vale.

While clear that some grievances were voiced about the state and local government and other companies, the operations of Hydro were clearly identified as the primary concern in Barcarena. View all notes A final consideration is the issue of response bias, particularly related to social desirability bias and demand characteristics. For local populations, respondents often repeated narratives of dissatisfaction for nearly all major stakeholders in Barcarena, and we did note instances of grievances that appeared exaggerated. Counteracting this, as in all fieldwork, is challenging.

We paid close attention to potential motivations underlying what was said, triangulated across multiple interviewees, and often across the same interviewee on multiple occasions. During fieldwork, we were also careful to not interpret interviews in light of the values or positions that we may have expected interviewees to hold — such as civil society being critical of the EI or CSR managers being overwhelmingly positive about their own activities.

The development agenda of the Brazilian government in the s and s linked rural areas to networks of global capital for the purposes of modernisation and development. Evans, Dependent Development. View all notes Vale was a key actor in this agenda, and across the Brazilian Amazon, large often extractive corporations became influential economic and political actors. In Barcarena the growth of industrial activity led to a socio-spatial reordering of the municipality and a socio-economic dependence on large-scale industrial activity.

View all notes Local institutional weakness and corruption eroded the agency of civil society, 40 View all notes and when corporations failed to deliver the broader developmental benefits promised 41 Coelho et al. View all notes socio-environmental conflicts proliferated. Hoschtelter and Keck, Greening Brazil ; Cornejo et al. Cornejo et al.

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Alongside the town with company-provisioned housing, roads, lighting, water and sanitation, informal communities sprung up to house those who arrived hoping to find work. Despite this inequality, Vale was generally viewed rather positively as they provided many services in the region in lieu of the local government. Vale strategically used relatively small investments in social projects to engender support from communities to preserve their SLO and secure their operations.