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A Decade of CSR in Practice – NZ, Australia, Timor-Leste and Indonesia
By Mandy Whyte, May 2011
Web-published by La'o Hamutuk at http://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/Sunrise/2011/WhyteCSRMay2011.pdf
This paper looks at examples of the community relations practices by international mining companies within the framework of two traditional approaches: public relations and community development (or Corporate Social Responsibility). It argues that the second is a more effective means to gain mutually beneficial outcomes for the companies and the communities with whom and within they operate, particularly in the developing world where power differentials are greater.
It explores why, in the era of CSR, Woodside Energy Ltd has been ineffective in working with the Government of Timor-Leste and how it has created an impasse that has stalled the development of the Greater Sunrise gas field.
A third approach to community relations is put forward, ‘Us and Them’, which suggests CSR doesn't work for some companies - not because it is not understood - but because these companies do not have the will to apply it. While there are many tools available for CSR, some companies have not yet worked out why they should use them.
It concludes that forced legal compliance, being taken for example by Indonesia, may be necessary to curb unprofessional and ‘ogreist’ practices of companies working in developing countries.