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The Politics of Privatizing Governance: The Political and Institutional Determinants of Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa

Corrigan, Caitlin C. (2016) The Politics of Privatizing Governance: The Political and Institutional Determinants of Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Companies often go above and beyond business requirements to promote development in the communities where they work. These efforts are frequently thought of as philanthropic acts aimed at generating good will for a company. However, previous findings, and the findings from this study, show that company efforts to promote what is often termed corporate social responsibility (CSR) cannot really be considered fully voluntary or philanthropic. CSR is shaped by economic, normative and institutional circumstances where a company is headquartered and, as this research will show, the institutional and political contexts where a company operates. While political and regulatory pressure for CSR in developing countries has previously been considered low, this research demonstrates the ways in which formal and informal political institutions do actually influence the CSR process in the African context.

This dissertation uses a comparative case study methodology to understand CSR processes. The case studies focus on comparing operations within mineral mining companies, using De Beers and Anglo Gold Ashanti (AGA) operations in three countries, Botswana, Ghana and South Africa. This is done in order to compare how CSR varies within an individual company, isolating the effect of operational location. The research is structured into three empirical sections based mainly on fieldwork in Southern Africa and CSR spending data collected from De Beers and AGA. In the first section, an adapted institutional analysis and development framework is used to display how initial conditions at mining locations, community attributes and national and local institutions influence the CSR processes at each mining operation. The second section examines the varying ways governments and politicians can control, influence or structure CSR. How these various forms of control effect CSR projects and spending is analyzed by comparing mining operations in Botswana, South Africa and Ghana and in South Africa over time. The final research section focuses on the role of local institutions in the CSR process and the importance of the relationships between communities, local governments and mining companies, drawing on fieldwork in South Africa and Botswana.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Corrigan, Caitlin C.corrigan.caitlin@gmail.comCCC390000-0001-5883-8090
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMurtazashvili, Iliaimurtaz@pitt.eduIMURTAZ
Committee MemberMurtazashvili, Jenniferjmurtaz@pitt.eduJMURTAZ
Committee MemberPicard, Louispicard@pitt.eduPICARD
Committee MemberPaler, Lauralpaler@pitt.eduLPALER
Date: 27 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 October 2015
Approval Date: 27 June 2016
Submission Date: 12 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 255
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility; Mining; South Africa; Botswana; Diamonds; Governance
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 15:00
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:32


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