Social network analysis reveals that communication gaps may prevent effective water management in the mining sector

Kunz, N. C., Kastelle, T. and Moran, C. J. (2017) Social network analysis reveals that communication gaps may prevent effective water management in the mining sector. Journal of Cleaner Production, 148 915-922. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.01.175


Author Kunz, N. C.
Kastelle, T.
Moran, C. J.
Title Social network analysis reveals that communication gaps may prevent effective water management in the mining sector
Journal name Journal of Cleaner Production   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-6526
Publication date 2017-04-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.01.175
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 148
Start page 915
End page 922
Total pages 16
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Sustainability issues are often difficult for companies to manage because they require communication across organisational departments and divisions. This paper provides some of the first empirical evidence that communication “silos” exist within the mining sector, and that they may be impeding effective water management. Results of a social network analysis at a mining company revealed gaps in direct communication about water-related issues between the two largest production departments. This gap was particularly surprising because the departments were connected in the other communication networks studied, namely: information, ideas, problem-solving and friendship. The Health, Safety and Environment department played a crucial brokerage role within the water network, suggesting that water is primarily perceived as an environmental issue. A lack of direct communication between the major production departments could pose a barrier for recognising and responding to production-critical water risks. The work also found that the water network was characteristic of a core-periphery structure, such that communication was vulnerable to the removal of central “hubs”. These hubs were dominated by senior management, which may present a risk for responding promptly to water-related crises. Further research is needed to investigate the impacts of a siloed communication structure for managing other sustainability issues including energy and community development.
Keyword Mining
Water
Social network analysis
Cleaner production
Business strategy
Sustainability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
UQ Business School Publications
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 08 Feb 2017, 09:17:46 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School