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Organizational Learning and CSR Norms in the Mining Sector. Hevina S. Dashwood Brock University hdashwood@brocku.ca. Introduction. Part of larger research project: influences on the CSR polices of mining companies Question: how important have emerging global CSR norms been?

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organizational learning and csr norms in the mining sector

Organizational Learning and CSR Norms in the Mining Sector

Hevina S. Dashwood

Brock University

hdashwood@brocku.ca

introduction
Introduction
  • Part of larger research project: influences on the CSR polices of mining companies
  • Question: how important have emerging global CSR norms been?
  • Relevance: growing role of the private sector in the provision of public goods
organization
Organization
  • Context
  • Assumptions and Methodology
  • Research Findings
  • Central argument
  • Explanation
  • Conclusions
context
Context
  • Devolution of state authority
  • Importance of private sector CSR initiatives
  • New global public domain (Ruggie)
crisis of legitimacy
Crisis of Legitimacy
  • Mid-1990s:
  • Bad reputation: widely publicized environmental disasters
  • NGO targeting
  • Tightening of environmental regulations
  • Loss of access to minerals, markets and capital
research puzzle
Research Puzzle
  • Mining companies in advanced industrialized economies: all facing these common constraints
  • But, variation in their response
  • How to explain this?
assumptions
Assumptions
  • Firms are responsive to normative shifts within the larger society
  • Norms: inter-subjective understanding of appropriate behaviour
  • International relations literature: dismissive of normative influence on firms
  • Institutionalist approaches: firms situated in larger society
methodology
Methodology
  • Case study: Noranda (now Xstrata) and Placer Dome (now Barrick)
  • Strong commitment to CSR
  • Early leaders in promoting CSR norms globally
findings
Findings
  • Early 2000s: adoption of sustainable development/sustainability policies- global normative dynamics
  • Senior management: perceived experience of mining to be most important
  • Some mining companies taking on a leadership role: not just public relations
central argument
Central Argument
  • Role of global CSR norms important…but cannot assign to much weight to their role
  • Need to look at aspects internal to the companies themselves
three questions
Three Questions
  • How do mining executives perceive and interpret the influences around them?
  • What is the role of cognitive learning in explaining how managers responded to the crisis of legitimacy?
  • How do past experiences influence how companies develop their CSR policies?
explanation
Explanation
  • Three elements:
  • Strategic adaptation
  • Cognitive learning process
  • Norms socialization
strategic adaptation
Strategic adaptation
  • Interest-based response to environmental and social challenges
  • Vulnerable to local community opposition
  • Need for a “social license” to operate
cognitive learning process
Cognitive Learning Process
  • “unlearning”
  • Role of “policy entrepreneurs”
  • “single loop learning”
  • “double loop learning”
  • Learning a dynamic, on-going process: requires external interaction and engagement
norms socialization
Norms socialization
  • Where do the ideas come from?
  • How do companies internalize emerging norms?
  • Strategic adaptation can lead to conviction
  • “Prescriptive status”
  • Institutionalization
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Companies responsive to larger normative shifts in society
  • Global initiatives that foster learning of critical importance
  • Engagement with external actors valuable
  • Compliance-based versus values-based approaches: the latter is better