Improving social outcomes in sustainable forest management: Community engagement and commitment to corporate social responsibility by Australian forest companies
corporate social responsibility; corporate culture; sustainable forest management; forest plantations
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AbstractThe overarching aim of the study was to identify ways to improve the adoption of community engagement, and through this, corporate social responsibility practices by forest companies in Australia in order to achieve sustainable forest management outcomes. For community engagement (CE) to be sustained within a company it must be supported by corporate culture. I used two case studies of Australian forest plantation companies to explore corporate culture and its impact CE adoption. Previous research has failed to adequately explore the relationship between CE adoption and corporate culture within forest companies. As such this research provides essential contribution to the literature and practical insight into how forest companies can improve the social dimensions of their forest management practices. The thesis was an interdisciplinary endeavour, as it contributes to a number of disciplines including CE and corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, the research primarily contributes to the discipline of forest management. This thesis addresses the question of ‘what can be done to enhance the adoption of community engagement in the corporate culture of Australian forest plantation companies?’ I used multiple qualitative methods to investigate two case studies, each involving a single forest company. The methods included observation, interviewing and document analysis. I investigated the views of stakeholders within and outside each company regarding CSR and CE, and conducted 87 semi-structured interviews. An adaptive theory approach was taken, with thematic coding being used to analyse data. Using both literature review and empirical data gathered for the study, I explored the relationships between CE, CSR and sustainable forest management. Investigating corporate culture provided insight into how the two case study companies could enhance adoption of CE. External stakeholder views provided necessary context in which to understand how to improve socially-orientated dimensions of forest plantation management. The study identified opportunities for the two case study companies to enhance their commitment to CE, and through this, CSR and thus improve their business practices.
Gordon, MJ (2013) Improving social outcomes in sustainable forest management: Community engagement and commitment to corporate social responsibility by Australian forest companies. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.