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Title: From dirty oil to community mentor : corporate responses to stakeholder pressure in the Alberta oil sands
Author: Coleman, Charlotte Katie
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This study presents the findings of an in-depth qualitative study of corporate responses to stakeholder pressures in the context of Canada’s oil sands. The study applies institutional theory and particularly, theory of organisational fields, strategic responses, institutional pressures and institutional work to examine interactions between stakeholders and oil companies. I argue that existing organisational theory often neglects to consider the tactics and mechanisms through which key stakeholder groups attempt to change, maintain or disrupt prevailing institutions. Furthermore, I argue that existing work in this area has failed to fully consider the potential significance of communities as powerful stakeholders. The study finds that the logics of protest used by social movement stakeholders to exert pressures differ from the logics and associated tactics currently suggested in the existing literature. More specifically, the findings indicate that the core logic used to pressure oil companies and the collective industry, are based on ‘bearing witness’. Another contribution that this study makes is to understand corporate responses to stakeholder pressures (specifically the public, non-government organisations, communities and through establishing an inter-organisational collaboration) at an individual and field level. This reveals that corporations and their field level organisations respond relationally (attempting to build new relationships with stakeholder groups, or their own competitors) use existing social networks, mimic these relations through mass marketing communication channels and embed themselves more within local communities. The responses used also aim to shape the external environment to make it more supportive in the future.
Supervisor: Cornelissen, J. ; Robson, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available