Trust, Regulation and Mining Corporations

Petrina Schiavi (2009). Trust, Regulation and Mining Corporations PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Petrina Schiavi
Thesis Title Trust, Regulation and Mining Corporations
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-08
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Professor David Brereton
Professor Geoffrey Lawrence
Doctor Fiona Solomon
Total pages 223
Total black and white pages 223
Subjects 16 Studies in Human Society
Abstract/Summary The social and environmental impacts of mining, especially in the case of large mining developments, can be dramatic and irreversible. From a regulatory perspective, the impacts of mining present a range of challenges, at both global and local levels. In recent years, however, many large, globalised mining corporations have been attempting to demonstrate that they can be trusted to adequately address the potential social and environmental impacts of their activities. This has lead some mining corporations to engage in certain behaviours that may be further leveraged to help to steer them towards improved social and environmental outcomes. This research explores the reasons why some mining corporations want to be trusted, how they believe trust can be built, the kinds of activities they are undertaking in order to build trust, and the implications of this for regulation and governance. Sociological perspectives on trust are employed as a theoretical foundation to analyse the significance of trust to large mining corporations in the context of their social and environmental performance, and the consequences of this for corporate regulation. Using a qualitative methodology, data was collected through participant observation, relevant industry documentation, and interviews with mining executives, non-government organisations, regulators and other key players in the mining industry. This data provides an insight into the dynamics of trust, regulation and corporate behaviour from the perspective of the mining industry and its stakeholders. The research finds that trust does play a significant role in corporate behaviour, and in regulatory dynamics. Further, many corporate trust-building efforts were found to have resulted in some level of improved social and environmental performance, at least at the level of systems, procedures and corporate rhetoric. Such findings around corporate trust-building and resultant corporate behaviour have implications for regulatory strategy in that it helps to explain why and how corporate trustworthiness may be targeted by regulators in order to achieve improved regulatory outcomes. This research contributes to the body of knowledge on trust and regulation in the fields of sociology and regulatory studies, and has practical application in terms of regulatory strategy. It also offers a platform for further studies into how trust might be more effectively harnessed in terms of regulatory strategy in the mining industry and across other industry sectors.
Keyword trust
mining corporations
regulation
governance
corporate social performance
discourse analysis
extractive industries

 
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Created: Thu, 26 Nov 2009, 23:07:26 EST by Ms Petrina Schiavi on behalf of Library - Information Access Service