A critical analysis of corporate responsibility in the mining industry: The case of Goldcorp in Peñasquito Mexico

Nayeli Armendariz Trujillo

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis analyses the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the silver mining industry. The study is based on the case of the Peñasquito mine in Mazapil, Mexico. Owned by Goldcorp, a Canadian mining company, the Peñasquito mine was involved in a seven-year conflict between the members of the community and the extractive corporation. Surprisingly, Goldcorp shows a strong commitment to the community and implementation of sustainable programs, such as UN Global Compact and The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and yet there were a series of protests and lawsuits against the corporation and its activities in Mazapil. For this reason, I have proposed the research question, how has corporate responsibility impacted the conflicts of Goldcorp in Mazapil, Mexico? To answer the question, I use two theoretical frameworks, the pyramid of CSR (Carroll, 1991) and the stakeholder theory. Following the pyramid of CSR, I evaluate Goldcorp’s initiatives and activities under the economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities. The stakeholder theory was used to enable a wider perspective of the situation from different points of view. Therefore, the research agenda of the thesis contains the following: Goldcorp sustainable programmes and initiatives including its activities in Peñasquito; a timeline with the main events that occurred during the conflict; and the opinions of different stakeholders involved in the conflict, namely, the communities, the Mexican government, the researchers and journalists. The findings reveal that the conflict was generated because of an incomplete implementation of CSR, lacking ethical responsibilities. There is evidence showing that during the negotiations with the communities of Mazapil, there were a variety of circumstances that gave Goldcorp space to act one-sided. According to some of the stakeholders Goldcorp acted as an unequal partner with dishonesty and treating the locals without respect.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages91