Responsible Business Under Adverse Conditions: Dilemmas Regarding Company Contributions to Local Development

Business Strategy and Development, 1, 8-16, doi:10.1002/bsd2.5

Posted: 16 Apr 2018

See all articles by Ans Kolk

Ans Kolk

University of Amsterdam Business School

Francois Lenfant

Cordaid

Date Written: March 27, 2018

Abstract

While literature on companies’ contributions to local development exists, little is known about the specific dilemmas encountered on the ground when operating under adverse conditions, and how transparency can be improved. Companies typically need to navigate through a complex web of relationships with local stakeholders and deal with large expectations from communities. This article sheds light on these topics, using gold mining in Mali as a case illustrative for other difficult settings in developing countries. We find that many companies show transparency in reporting on development projects funded, local employees hired, taxes paid and local purchases. Concurrently, what companies do seems less important than how they do it, and with whom. The article offers practical and theoretical insights into how (international) companies can derive value from fine‐tuning their contribution to development and adjusting their reporting, and also contributes to current debates about inclusiveness in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords: communities, inclusive development, transparency, institutional voids, stakeholders, sustainable development

JEL Classification: F23, M1, M14, M16, O19, O35, Q01, Q32, Q34, Q35, Q38, O55

Suggested Citation

Kolk, Ans and Lenfant, Francois, Responsible Business Under Adverse Conditions: Dilemmas Regarding Company Contributions to Local Development (March 27, 2018). Business Strategy and Development, 1, 8-16, doi:10.1002/bsd2.5, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3150588

Ans Kolk (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4289 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5281 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.anskolk.eu

Francois Lenfant

Cordaid ( email )

Lutherse Burgwaal 12
Den Haag
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.cordaid.nl

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