Practical processes to develop ethical solutions in corporate-community conflicts.
This paper presents practical processes to address ethical conflicts in mining operations, recognizing the diversity of ethical perspectives and building common goals and strategies. As environmental and social ethical issues gather global attention, a growing concern in the mining industry is to obtain and maintain its social license to operate within its many and diverse local communities. Moreover, among the regions where mining companies operate throughout the world, some regions are known to be social ‘hot spots’, by reason of rampant corruption, human rights violation, substandard labour conditions and weak environmental laws, among others. The ethical challenges are plentiful and no one-size-fits-all solution exists to resolve these types of issues. Current CSR approaches too often fail to support long term collaboration between corporations and communities, since they tend to require compliance to Western ethical ideologies and worldviews while silencing the diverse ethical perspectives and aspirations of local communities. We describe a dialogue process, with innovative deliberative structures and training, that have been used in various industries and in different cultural contexts that enable workers and managers to identify concerns, voice and hear differing perspectives on the ethical priorities at stake, and develop collaborative solutions to common challenges.