Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2014

Anglo American: Implementing a 'Social Way' for Global Mining

by Christopher Marquis, David Plumb, Tom Blathwayt and Zoe Yang

Abstract

The mining giant Anglo American attempts to differentiate itself through its social performance, yet public expectations are still growing. Maintaining a "social license" to operate was increasingly challenging and critical to business success.

The case considers Anglo American's options to stay in front of these trends. How can the protagonist promote greater professionalization of social performance inside the organization, and greater integration with business decisions?

The organization was also under pressure to increase social investments as part of the company's social license. Could significantly more value—for the company, host governments, and local communities—be created by leveraging the company's core operations, such as increasing the amount of goods and services purchased from local suppliers?

Keywords: Global Mining; Localization; socioeconomic issues; procurement; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Supply Chain Management; Globalization; Reputation; Emerging Markets; Mining Industry; South Africa;

Citation:

Marquis, Christopher, David Plumb, Tom Blathwayt, and Zoe Yang. "Anglo American: Implementing a 'Social Way' for Global Mining." Harvard Business School Case 414-063, January 2014.