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Aracruz Celulose counts on HR when the going gets tough: Locals cast icon of best practice as the villain in 30‐year land dispute

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 6 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Illustrates how good HR practices can help when a company becomes engulfed in conflict with neighboring communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Describes the case of Aracruz Celulose which, while feted with awards for its best practice on sustainability and HR, was involved in a 30‐year conflict over land ownership.

Findings

Argues that HR managers can: ensure that the firm's talent pool has the requisite leadership skills for future challenges; play a role in educating managers, workers and stakeholders so that their mindsets are changing with the times and current realities; take steps to ward off or ameliorate the effect of societal conflicts and targeting by non‐governmental organizations; educate and advocate that HRM best practices with employees and other stakeholders hold equal importance to best practices in internal operations; establish social‐performance tools to audit how well the company is doing in terms of corporate social responsibility and stakeholder relations.

Practical implications

Reveals that best practice in operational areas under a company's control cannot always protect firms from risks related to wider societal dilemmas.

Originality/value

Cautions against allowing claim and counter‐claim to fuel a festering dispute.

Keywords

Citation

(2008), "Aracruz Celulose counts on HR when the going gets tough: Locals cast icon of best practice as the villain in 30‐year land dispute", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 20-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/09670730810878448

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited