Firm-local community relationships in polluting industrial agglomerations: How firms’ commitment determines residents’ perceptions

This research article focuses on the relationships between firms’ commitment to community and residents’ risk perception. This article is related to the Business and Society and Risk Resarch literatures.

The article was written by the Associate Professors : Miguel A. Lopez-Navarro, Vicent Tortosa-Edo, and Vanesa Castan-Broto.

Abstract of the Article:

This research contributes to the literature on the management of firm-local community relationships in polluting industrial agglomerations. Taking as reference a previous quantitative study on residents’ perceptions of economic benefits and risk in the vicinity of two Spanish petrochemical complexes (Castellon and Tarragona), the aim of this paper is to analyse how companies in the two areas have built and manage, individually and collectively, their relations with the local community, while assessing the extent to which a more committed management has resulted in a more favourable perception by the public. For this purpose, we conducted in-depth interviews with managers of the main companies on the two sites.

The results show different patterns of behaviour by firms in the two industrial agglomerations.
Companies located in the area of Tarragona, where citizens’ perceptions were more favourable, have historically been more committed to building stronger socio-economic links with the local community and encouraging a sense of community, and to making greater efforts to engage local residents through a process of dialogue. Moreover, the existence of a collective strategy in Tarragona, coordinated through a local industry association, has also played an important role in facilitating the industry’s relationship with the local community. The findings of the study suggest the need to consider the industrial agglomeration and the firms’ collective actions in research on relationships with the local community alongside actions by individual companies.

This article was published on the Journal of Cleaner Production (2018), Vol. 186, 22-33. It is connected with other journals written by these authors as it focuses on the relationship between corporations in a petrochemical complex and residents who live close to it.

Pollution from a petrochemical complex

Leave a Comment