Perceptions of the impact of board members’ individual perspectives on the social and environmental performance of companies.

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dc.contributor.author Stacey, J.
dc.contributor.author Stacey, A.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-11-22T11:57:39Z
dc.date.available 2017-11-22T11:57:39Z
dc.date.issued 2014-11
dc.identifier.citation Stacey, J.L. and Stacey, A.G. 2014. Perceptions of the impact of board members’ individual perspectives on the social and environmental performance of companies. Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 114(11), pp. 957-968. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2225-6253
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/23420
dc.description.abstract Large mining companies generally follow the distributed ownership corporate model, with a board of directors responsible for decisions that affect both shareholder value and stakeholders of the company. The board is simultaneously responsible for setting the culture and values of the corporation, which drive performance and priorities. Companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) commit to sustainable development in various ways, either by virtue of implementing the King Code of Governance 2009 (King III) and/or through their own public reporting on social and environmental matters. Many mining companies make public statements regarding their support for environmental stewardship, ethical behaviour, and fair treatment of communities. It is a local, regional, and indeed, global phenomenon that companies fail to deliver on these statements. Research was carried out through the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa in 2007, and followed up in 2012, regarding directors’ understanding of sustainable development issues, the relative priorities, what is needed for ‘radical change’ to effect sustainable development, and what enables or constrains the latter. Pertinent findings of both surveys are presented in this paper, and it is suggested that ‘on-the-ground’ performance may be indicative of the nature of leadership and decisions in the topmost ranks of the company. The results indicated that environmental concerns fall consistently below social issues. Financial capital ranked most important, and while environmental issues are recognized as being of strategic concern for the long-term, they ranked as being the lowest importance of all ‘Five Capitals’ (Financial, Manufactured, Social, Human, and Natural). Social capital ranked second lowest, with black economic empowerment being the only high-priority social issue. There is also evidence that certain companies within the mining sector fail to recognize their absolute dependence on natural resources. Much is made in academic and popular literature of the need for a new type of leadership for the radical shift to sustainable development: at company level this implies therefore a new type of director. The research found that only 14 per cent of directors felt that board decisions are consistent with their personal values; while intentions are strong to behave ethically and serve sustainable development, actions to give effect to these intentions lag significantly. Respondents indicated that the top impediments to courageous leadership for sustainable development related to personal issues of maintaining the image of being a director, fear of appearing weak, fear of being a lone voice, and bowing to board-colleague peer pressure. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. en_ZA
dc.rights This Journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. en_ZA
dc.subject Decision-making en_ZA
dc.subject Sustainable outcomes en_ZA
dc.subject Courageous leadership en_ZA
dc.subject Personal values en_ZA
dc.subject Sustainable development priorities en_ZA
dc.subject Self-awareness en_ZA
dc.subject Shareholders en_ZA
dc.subject Environmental management en_ZA
dc.title Perceptions of the impact of board members’ individual perspectives on the social and environmental performance of companies. en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 114 en_ZA
dc.journal.title Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian MvdH2017 en_ZA
dc.citation.epage 968 en_ZA
dc.citation.issue 11 en_ZA
dc.description.url http://www.saimm.co.za/publications/journal-papers en_ZA
dc.citation.spage 957 en_ZA


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