Corporate reputation in the South African diamond industry : a multi-stakeholder perspective
Ngcobo, Sakhile Glen
Lack of common understanding of corporate reputation in the diamond industry in South Africa has attracted a lot of interest in this aspect of the mining industry. The recent Marikana Massacre in the platinum belt in the Rustenburg area at Lonmin Mine in 2012, together with on-going debates on resource nationalisation and negative relations between mine communities and diamond mining companies have prompted the call for more research in reputation management in the mining industry in South Africa. The purpose of this research is to define the meaning of corporate reputation in the diamond industry, to understand key perceptions of the diamond industry, to identify key effects of corporate reputation in the diamond industry and to evaluate key management approaches to corporate reputation in the diamond industry from multi-stakeholder perspectives. Mixed methods research methodology was used in this study, comprising quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis. Key findings include that there is no one single definition of corporate reputation. Each stakeholder has his/her unique definition which is based on his/her own assessments of the organisation, the past and future actions of the corporation, and their experience and perception of the organisation. Poor relations between mine communities and diamond companies; prospects for the collapse of the Kimberley Process (KP); violent strikes; environmental issues, including rehabilitation of old mines; poverty and high unemployment in the mining communities; failure of BEE transactions in delivering real value to the mine employees and local communities; illegal mining; the rise of synthetic un-natural diamonds and negative perceptions of the diamond industry in South Africa are the current major challenges and risks affecting the diamond industry in South Africa. This study concludes that positive corporate reputation would result in improved investor confidence, higher levels of attracting and retaining top level talent in the organisation, improved attraction of customers, better relations with communities and improved stakeholder relations. The study did not find evidence proving that a positive reputation will result in higher prices for diamond products. It found that corporate reputation management initiatives in the diamond industry are not well understood and, as a result, they are not delivering the full results as expected. ii | P a g e Effective stakeholder relations management with a special focus on community engagement including youth groups’ involvement in the mining towns; targeted social investment programmes with special focus on enterprise development and effective management of industry perceptions are identified as the most critical steps to be adopted in the diamond industry in order to improve its reputation.
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Ngcobo, Sakhile Glen (2016) Corporate reputation in the South African diamond industry : a multi-stakeholder perspective, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://hdl.handle.net/10539/23719>