The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the interactions of key stakeholders and their impact upon corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in the Zambian copper mining sector. In particular, the authors examine the power dynamics that emerge in the stakeholder interactions.
The authors analyse the stakeholder interactions based on the varying degrees of stakeholder salience and critical collaboration potential, and draw on rich evidence from 43 interviews with multiple stakeholders involved in CSR in the Zambia mining sector.
This paper finds stark power asymmetries in the relationship between the state, the civil society and mining companies which are exacerbated by a number of factors, including divisions within these key stakeholders themselves. Apart from power imbalances within and between stakeholders, the potential for critical collaboration at the local level is further challenged by the lack of commonly accepted social and environmental frameworks, transparency and accountability of the leadership of stakeholder groups. However, despite these power asymmetries some limited agency is possible, as civil society in particular co-opts previously dormant stakeholders to increase its own salience and, more importantly, that of the state.
This paper contributes to the literature on the key stakeholders’ interactions shaping CSR in developing countries by exploring these issues in a critical industry, the Zambian copper mining sector, on which the state economy is so heavily dependent.
The authors would like to thank the following individuals for help in developing this paper and seeing it to completion: Dr Neeta Shah, Professor Ian Thomson, Professor Jim Haslam, Professor Shahzad Uddin, Dr Chinyere Uche and Dr Petros Vourvachis. The authors also wish to thank the Copperbelt University for supporting the fieldwork in Zambia.
This paper forms part of a special section “Accounting, auditing and accountability research in Africa Part 2”.
Phiri, O., Mantzari, E. and Gleadle, P. (2019), "Stakeholder interactions and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices: Evidence from the Zambian copper mining sector", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 26-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-04-2016-2540Download as .RIS
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