Mining managers’ causal attributions of socio-environmental conflicts and intergroup perceptions

Federico León R., Fanny Barrantes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The unprecedented mining boom of the 1990s in Latin America may or may have not contributed to socioeconomic development in the region, but it has certainly been accompanied by increased socio-environmental conflicts. Economists and sociologists have developed taxonomies for such conflicts and have attempted to explain them based on theories of resource mobilization, rational options, social cohesion, and identity construction applied to settings of generally extreme poverty. This study developed and tested psychological hypotheses based on personal values, attribution theory, reputational concern of the firm, intergroup threat theory, and UV radiation theory entailing mining managers’ reactions to socio-environmental conflicts in Peru and effects of latitude and altitude. Forty-three Corporate Social Responsibility managers of the 49 mining corporations registered in the Society of Mining, Petroleum, and Energy of Peru filled-in a 20-minute questionnaire in the presence of one of the investigators at company offices (December 2017). 100 % of respondents were male, most of them middle-aged. A 3-factor structure of political, economic, and ecological concerns sustained the attributions of cause whereas mine’s surrounding populations were perceived as moral, incompetent, and positive; in balance, these perceptions represent favorable conditions for conflict resolution. However, contrary to expectations, firm’s experience of socio-environmental conflicts was not associated with these outcomes. Rather, geography emerged as a moderator of the relationship between the level of socio-environmental conflict experienced and managers’ perceptions of the surrounding populations. These results suggest that mining managers more affected by socio-environmental conflict strengthened racial stereotypes in response to the external challenge.

Translated title of the contributionMining managers’ causal attributions of socio-environmental conflicts and intergroup perceptions
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalInterdisciplinaria
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • intergroup perceptions
  • managers
  • mining
  • socio-environmental conflict

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