Canadian mining companies operating in the developing world face a complex business environment where substantial stakeholder ambiguity must be managed. Stakeholder ambiguity occurs when stakeholders interpret company actions or information they receive in different ways depending on their individual goals, demands, and opinions. Through interviews with company managers and leaders of civil-society organizations, this study endeavours to determine how Canadian-based senior mining company Goldcorp Inc. manages the stakeholder ambiguity it faces at its Marlin mine in Guatemala. The study finds that several aspects of this business environment contribute to stakeholder ambiguity, including poorly functioning governments and a large presence of anti-mining NGOs. The case study examines three examples of institutional strategy undertaken by Goldcorp. Institutional strategy involves working to transform institutional standards to establish a strategically favourable set of conditions. Findings suggest these initiatives are well designed and have been effective, but structural barriers prevent them from reaching their potential.
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Thesis advisor: Hall, Jeremy
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