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Exploring mining multinational resettlements and corporate social responsibility in emerging economies: the case of the company VALE, SA in Mozambique

Constâncio A. Machanguana (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique)
Idalina Dias Sardinha (SOCIUS, CSG, ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 5 May 2021

Issue publication date: 13 May 2021

213

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the scientific and societal debates about the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and particularly on the resettlements’ processes as part of extractive multinational companies (MNCs)’s commitments where the host country is an emerging extractive economy.

Design/methodology/approach

It is an exploratory study based on the analysis of secondary data, few interviews and on-site observation and deals with the description of the assessment of VALE, SA resettlement processes and assumed CSR practices of VALE, SA, an MNC operating in the Moatize district, Tete province in Mozambique.

Findings

The MNC assumes resettlement processes to be part of the CSR arena and reveals that VALE, SA follows a reactive poor approach as to CSR. The weak institutional context in Mozambique is like others described in the literature. The empirical data together with the sense of an ethical responsibility approach associated with resettlement processes and the paradigm shift in aid for trade as to development supported by the MNC’s CSR leads to the conclusion that resettlement can be considered part of the CSR of a mining MNC.

Research limitations/implications

The difficult access to key informants of the resettled communities, local government and little interest in interview participation by VALE, SA, showed a current lack of confidence and communication limitations by the company as to this issue.

Practical implications

The failure of VALE, SA and other mining companies to meet their resettlement responsibilities and the inability of government supervision, requires local and national, as well as social and scientific communication processes and debate on this issue to be maintained on an ongoing basis during the mining life cycle to guaranty accomplishments of CSR.

Social implications

The controversy over whether mining MNCs will benefit Africa’s emerging economies as to their socio-economic development will continue until MNCs commit themselves and act to be economically, legally and ethically responsible for contributing to the sustainable development of the countries where they operate.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the debate on whether CSR frames the resettlement process based on literature review and key stakeholder views.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Authors acknowledge the availability of their respondents and engineer João Viseu, president of Fórum Empresarial do Meio Ambiente, www.wbcsd.org/Overview/Global-Network/Regions/Africa/Mozambique/FEMA. Authors also acknowledge the comments of their colleague Castel-Branco (ISEG) and the targeted and insightful reviews of their reviewers. This work has been supported by FCT, I.P. and the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology, within the UID/SOC/04521/2019 Project.

Citation

Machanguana, C.A. and Dias Sardinha, I. (2021), "Exploring mining multinational resettlements and corporate social responsibility in emerging economies: the case of the company VALE, SA in Mozambique", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 591-610. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-11-2019-0414

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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