Advertisement

A developmental paradox? The “dark forces” against corporate social responsibility in Ghana’s extractive industry

  • Alex Osei-Kojo
  • Nathan Andrews
Article
  • 42 Downloads

Abstract

In order to reduce environmental degradation and contribute more to wider sustainable development efforts, mining and oil companies in Ghana undertake different projects in affected communities, such as building schools and providing scholarships, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yet, evidence from recent studies suggests that the outcomes of these practices are mixed in terms of improving the livelihoods of people. This situation raises the question: what account for the disparity between companies’ CSR activities and perceptions of affected communities? Drawing upon interview data with stakeholders from the mining and oil sectors of Ghana, the paper explores the perceived factors that undermine the contribution of CSR toward developmental efforts in affected communities. The results show that misplaced priorities and duplication of projects on the part of companies, high expectations from affected communities, and inadequate involvement of beneficiaries are among the factors that undermine CSR in Ghana. These findings contribute to extant literature that underscore the dichotomy between CSR and development.

Keywords

CSR Mining Oil extraction Development Communities Ghana 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Due acknowledgement goes to the University of Ghana Business School for funding this study. We are also thankful to our participants for providing data for this study. Our gratitude goes to the Organizing Committee of the 14th Development Dialogue Conference (International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam) for providing the platform for presenting this paper. We are particularly thankful to Professor Ben White of ISS for providing very useful comments when the paper was presented at the 14th DD conference in The Hague. Additionally, we thank Dr Sandy Zook of the University of Colorado Denver for her insightful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Last, we thank the two reviewers of this journal for their critical comments that helped us improve the paper.

References

  1. Abdualai, A.-G., Berko, O., Ahenkan, A., Amertowoo, A., & Osei-Kojo, A. (2016). Key trends and issues in Ghana’s mining sector. Ghana business development review. Accra: University of Ghana Business School.Google Scholar
  2. Abdulai, A.-G. (2017). Competitive clientelism and the political economy of mining in Ghana. ESID Working Paper No. 78.Google Scholar
  3. Abugre, J. B., & Nyuur, R. B. (2015). Organizations’ commitment to and communication of CSR activities: insights from Ghana. Social Responsibility Journal, 11(1), 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ackah-Baidoo, A. (2012). Enclave development and ‘offshore corporate social responsibility’: Implications for oil-rich sub-Saharan Africa. Resources Policy, 37(2), 152–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ackah-Baidoo, A. (2013). Fishing in troubled waters: Oil production, seaweed and community- level grievances in the Western Region of Ghana. Community Development Journal, 48(3), 406–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Adusah-Karikari, A. (2015). Black gold in Ghana: Changing livelihoods for women in communities affected by oil production. The Extractive Industries and Society, 2(1), 24–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Agbonifo, J. (2011). Corporate social responsibility: An oversocialised view of multinational corporations in Africa?”. Journal of International Relations and Development, 14(1), 126–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Akabzaa, T. (2009). Mining in Ghana: Implications for national economic development and poverty reduction. In B. Campbell (Ed.), Mining and development in Africa (pp. 25–65). Montreal: Pluto Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Amegbey, N. A., & Adimado, A. A. (2003). Incidents of cyanide spillage in Ghana. Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy, 112(2), 126–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Amponsah-Tawiah, K., & Dartey-Baah, K. (2011). Corporate social responsibility in Ghana. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(17), 107–112.Google Scholar
  11. Amponsah-Tawiah, K., & Dartey-Baah, K. (2016). Corporate social responsibility in Ghana: A sectoral analysis. In S. Vertigans, S. Idowu, & R. Schmidpeter (Eds.), Corporate social responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa (pp. 189–216). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Andrews, N. (2013). Community expectations from Ghana’s new oil find: Conceptualizing corporate social responsibility as a grassroots-oriented process. Africa Today, 60(1), 54–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Andrews, N. (2016). Challenges of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in domestic settings: An exploration of mining regulation vis-à-vis CSR in Ghana. Resources Policy, 47, 9–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Andrews, N. (2017). Normative spaces and the UN Global Compact for transnational corporations: the norm diffusion paradox. Journal of International Relations and Development.  https://doi.org/10.1057/s41268-017-0103-3.Google Scholar
  15. Andrews, N. (2018). Land versus livelihoods: Community perspectives on dispossession and marginalization in Ghana’s mining sector. Resources Policy.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2018.05.011.Google Scholar
  16. Ayee, J. R. A., Søreide, T., Shukla, G. P. & Le, T. M. (2011). Political economy of the mining sector in Ghana. Policy Research Working Paper 5730, Washington D.C: World Bank.Google Scholar
  17. Bloch, R., Owusu, G. (2012). Linkages in Ghana’s gold mining industry: Challenging the enclave thesis. Resources Policy, 37, 434–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Campbell, B. (2012). Corporate Social Responsibility and development in Africa: Redefining the roles and responsibilities of public and private actors in the mining sector. Resources Policy, 37(2), 138–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Thematic analysis. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(3), 297–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Daily Graphic. (September 6, 2016), p. 41.Google Scholar
  21. Dartey-Baah, K., Amponsah-Tawiah, K., & Agbeibor, V. (2015). Corporate social responsibility in Ghana’s national development. Africa Today, 62(2), 71–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dashwood, H. S. (2012). The rise of global corporate social responsibility: Mining and the spread of global norms. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Essah, M., & Andrews, N. (2016). Linking or de-linking sustainable mining practices and corporate social responsibility? Insights from Ghana. Resources Policy, 50(2016), 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Frynas, J. G. (2005). The false developmental promise of Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from multinational oil companies. International Affairs, 81(3), 581–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Frynas, J. G. (2008). Corporate social responsibility and international development: Critical assessment. Corporate Governance, 16(4), 274–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ghana Chamber of Mines. (2013). Performance of the mining industry in 2012. Accra: Ghana Chamber of Mines.Google Scholar
  27. Gifford, B., Kestler, A., & Anand, S. (2010). Building local legitimacy into corporate social responsibility: Gold mining firms in developing nations. Journal of World business, 45(3), 304–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gilberthorpe, E., & Banks, G. (2012). Development on whose terms?: CSR discourse and social realities in Papua New Guinea's extractive industries sector. Resources Policy, 37(2), 185–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gunningham, N., Kagan, R. A., & Thornton, D. (2004). Social license and environmental protection: Why businesses go beyond compliance. Law and Social Enquiry, 29, 307–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hilson, G. (2002). Harvesting mineral riches: 1000 years of gold mining in Ghana. Resources Policy, 28(1), 13–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hilson, G. (2007). Championing the rhetoric? ‘Corporate social responsibility in Ghana’s mining sector. Greener Management International, 53, 43–56.Google Scholar
  32. Hilson, G. (2012). Corporate social responsibility in the extractive industries: Experiences from developing countries. Resources Policy, 37(2), 131–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Idemudia, U. (2007). Community perceptions and expectations: Reinventing the wheels of corporate social responsibility practices in the Nigerian oil industry. Business and Society Review, 112(3), 369–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Idemudia, U. (2010). Rethinking the role of corporate social responsibility in the Nigerian oil conflict: The limits of CSR. Journal of International Development, 22(7), 833–845.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jenkins, R. (2005). Globalization, corporate social responsibility and poverty. International Affairs, 81(3), 525–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jick, T. D. (1979). Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods: Triangulation in action. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24(4), 602–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kemp, D., & Owen, J. R. (2013). Community relations and mining: Core to business but not ‘core business’. Resources Policy, 38(4), 523–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kpinpuo, S. D., & Tuokuu, F. X. D. (2017). Retooling Tullow Ghana’s CSR strategy: A communication lens. Journal of Global Responsibility, 8(2), 225–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lawson, E. T., & Bentil, G. (2014). Shifting sands: Changes in community perceptions of mining in Ghana. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 16(1), 217–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Merino, A., & Valor, C. (2011). The potential of corporate social responsibility to eradicate poverty: An ongoing debate. Development in Practice, 21(2), 157–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Michael, B. (2003). Corporate social responsibility in international development: An overview and critique. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 10, 115–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Milne, M. J., & Gray, R. (2013). W(h)ither ecology? The triple bottom line, the global reporting initiative, and corporate sustainability reporting”. Journal of Business Ethics, 118(1), 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Neuman, L. W. (2007). Basics of social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  44. Newell, P., & Frynas, J. G. (2007). Beyond CSR? Business, poverty and social justice: An introduction. Third World Quarterly, 28(4), 669–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nijhof, A. H. J., & Jeurissen, R. J. M. (2010). The glass ceiling of corporate social responsibility: Consequences of a business case approach towards CSR. International Journal of Sociology and Social policy, 30(11/12), 618–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ofori, D. F. (2007). Corporate social responsibility, myth, reality or empty rhetoric: Perspectives from the Ghana Stock Exchange. African Finance Journal, 9(2), 53–68.Google Scholar
  47. Ofori, D. F., & Hinson, R. E. (2007). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) perspectives of leading firms in Ghana. Corporate Governance, 7(2), 178–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ofori, D. F., & Ofori, A. T. (2014). Mining sector CSR behaviour: A developing country perspective. African Journal of Management Research, 22(1), 62–84.Google Scholar
  49. Osei-Kojo, A., & Andrews, N. (2016). Questioning the status quo: Can stakeholder participation improve implementation of small-scale mining laws in Ghana? Resources, 5(33), 1–16.Google Scholar
  50. Parsons, R., Lacey, J., & Moffat, K. (2014). Maintaining legitimacy of a contested practice: How the minerals industry understands its ‘social licence to operate’. Resources Policy, 41, 83–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Riccucci, N. M. (2010). Public administration: Traditions of inquiry and philosophies of knowledge. Washington, DC: Georgetwon University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Slack, K. (2012). Mission impossible? Adopting a CSR-based business model for extractive industries in developing countries. Resources Policy, 37(2), 179–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Vertigans, S. (2011). CSR as corporate social responsibility or colonial structures return? A Nigerian case study. International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 3(6), 159–162.Google Scholar
  54. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications: Design and methods. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public AffairsUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Department of Global and International StudiesUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

Personalised recommendations