Conflicts between companies and communities are experienced regularly everywhere in the world hence the extensive use of Social Licence to Operate which is aiming at continuous acceptable practices of companiesÕ activities by communities in which the companies are operating. Through effective community engagement between companies and communities, Social Licence to Operate is obtained and maintained. This is in support of stakeholder theory which provides direction on how companiesÕ management could operate in relation to the stakeholder relationship and what those stakeholder needs are, in order to achieve business objectives. While significant research has been conducted to understand the sources of conflict between companies and communities, very little is understood about why these conflicts occur post community engagement, especially following the implementation of the agreed outcomes. This study explored the sources of conflicts between the companies and communities post the implementation of agreed community engagement outcomes.
A qualitative, exploratory study was conducted in order to gain new insights into the sources of conflicts between the companies and communities post the implementation of the agreed community engagement outcomes. The study also explored the understanding of the concept of a Social Licence to Operate. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were undertaken with companies, communities and regulators, who had experienced and were involved with community engagements. Using purposive, convenience and snowball sampling, fourteen representatives from coal mining companies, communities and regulators that were involved in community engagement in coal mining were selected to be interviewed. The audio recordings of the interviews were transcribed and analysed through coding and thematic analysis using Microsoft Excel software.
The main findings of the study revealed that the sources of conflict between companies and communities post implementation of agreed community engagement outcomes include engaging for self-interests, not delivering on promises, and unclear local communities demarcations. These contributed to negative effects of community engagements such as community protests, business disruption, and communities fighting each other. The study suggested the implementation of the factors which could reduce or eliminate conflicts namely, proactive engagement, inclusive engagement, transparent engagement, and clear local communities demarcations. In addition, the Social Licence to
Operate (SLO) was viewed as interrelated with community engagement therefore, one cannot exist without the other.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.