CSR communication : a study of multinational mining companies in Southern Ghana

Owusu-Agyemang, Joe Prempeh (2017) CSR communication : a study of multinational mining companies in Southern Ghana. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


In recent years, there has been significant interest in communication on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (Tehemar, 2012; Bortree, 2014). Yet, it is impractical to assume a onesize- fits-all definition for CSR (Crane and Matten, 2007; Walter, 2014). Therefore, this becomes an important area for research as CSR communications play a vital role in any CSR strategy in the business world, more especially in Ghana. Consequently, a good CSR communication can address the increasing cynicism about CSR when it is done effectively (Du et al., 2010; Kim and Ferguson, 2014). While a body of research exists about CSR communication at a theoretical level (Brugger, 2010; Schmeltz, 2012), there is a lack of empirical research investigating the topic in a particular policy and cultural content (Emel et al., 2012). The aim of this study was to address the limited research on CSR communication in Ghana. It empirically investigated whether the CSR dimensions (Triple Bottom Line) and effective CSR message components are positively linked with CSR stakeholder’ approval. The effects of individual characteristics including education and gender were also tested on the relationships. The study integrates insights from stakeholder theory (Vaaland et al., 2008; Wang, 2008) supported by both legitimacy theory (Perk et al., 2013) and institutional theory (Suddaby, 2013) to explain the planned base for CSR communication. A cross-sectional survey with 817 responses was used. This consisted of government-local-authority officials, mining company employees and host community officials from multinational mining companies (AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Ghana Bauxite Company Limited and Ghana Manganese Company Limited) operating in areas of southern Ghana. A quantitative survey analysis was employed to test the relationships through multiple regression analysis. One of the contributions pertains to the introduction of constructs of social, environmental and economic bottom lines to form a new, easy-to-remember acronym, the ‘SEE’ element in the CSR message contents. The results also make a contribution to knowledge by indicating that CSR message dimensions positively affect the way stakeholders approve mining companies’ CSR communications. Additionally, there were clear education and gender differences amongst stakeholders in accepting and approving companies’ CSR messages in Ghana. Furthermore, divergent stakeholders prefer different CSR message channels, and that certain CSR message contents are important for a particular stakeholder group.

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