Towards a Sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility Discharge and Accountability in the Extractives Industry
The paper examines how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities manifest and their respective discharge and accountabilities in the extractives industry. The study employs content analysis to examine the sustainability reports of two leading extractive firms in Ghana namely, AngloGold Ashanti and Tullow plc. Thereafter, it engages relevant stakeholders in interviews to probe deeper into the results of the content analysis to corroborate the evidence from the companies. The results indicate that the CSR discharge and accountability of the firms are inconsistent with society’s expectations and that the firms employ egitimation mechanisms in their CSR practices to obtain and retain social licenses to operate. Hence, CSR discharge and accountability of the firms are rather superficial and rhetoric in nature and performed just to keep themselves in a positive light, while enhancing corporate reputation and visibility. The study contributes to the CSR literature by specifically focusing on how CSR activities manifest and their respective accountability discharge in the extractives industry. The paper takes a holistic multidimensional methodological approach to resolve CSR and respective accountability issues, unlike existing studies that look at the substantive issue on a piecemeal basis, thus, either through interviews or content analysis. It provides useful information to policymakers and a reference point to industry on their CSR accountability strategies and subsequent implementation.