Multistakeholder Initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility: The OECD Guidance and Conflict Minerals

Johns, Matthew (2010) Multistakeholder Initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility: The OECD Guidance and Conflict Minerals. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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In recent years, war has raged in the Democratic Republic of Congo between various military bodies, bringing death and devastation to millions of innocent civilians. The conflict has been fuelled by the country‟s abundant mineral wealth, with factions exploiting state weakness and taking control of a large proportion of the mining sector. One of the largest purchasers of the Congo‟s minerals is the global electronics industry. NGOs and civil society have subsequently accused electronics companies of indirectly funding armed groups.

This dissertation explores a multi-stakeholder initiative in corporate social responsibility; the “OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chain Management of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas”. Various sources of information taken from international governmental organisations, industry associations, corporations, and non-governmental organisations were explored. This research was carried out in order to understand how the Guidance was developed, how its content stands to address the problems in the mineral supply chain, the likelihood of the Guidance being thoroughly implemented, and the potential for the Guidance to become institutionalised as an example of best practice when sourcing minerals.

This dissertation found that stakeholders were incorporated to varying degrees into the development process according to their possession of power, legitimacy, and urgency. This multi-stakeholder approach allows monitoring and pressure to be applied on companies from different actors, thereby positively impacting the likelihood of corporations adhering to its principles. The alignment of an industry management tool according to the Guidance stands to further complement implementation efforts. However, the lack of formal sanction for transgressors coupled with an inability to accurately verify critical information provided could undermine efforts to widely implement and institutionalise due diligence in the mineral supply chain. Yet imminent formal legislation in the United States represents a move towards „hard trust of companies‟, and could potentially provide the impetus for institutionalisation.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2011 15:43
Last Modified: 13 May 2016 09:28

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