Corporate Social Responsibility in the Australian Construction Industry

By Lou Wilson, Jian Zuo, George Zillante, Stephen Pullen, Anne Burger and Keri Chiveralls.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Australian construction industry has a poor history of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The industry is characterised by a high proportion of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) that contract to larger corporations. The latter have begun to develop codes of social responsibility but it is doubtful how much impact such codes have on the behaviour of their contractors. This paper examines the tensions inherent in the process of addressing CSR in a fragmented industry with diffuse layers of management. Major obstacles to the adoption of CSR include a general lack of awareness of CSR in the industry coupled with a lack of consensus on how CSR is defined and the principles that might be contained in a CSR model. Our paper concludes with a research strategy to address these matters.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Definition, Small to Medium Size Enterprises, Fragmentation

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.109-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 777.169KB).

Dr. Lou Wilson

Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environment, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I am a sociologist at the University of South Australia. I have research interests in sustainable communities, social inclusion/exclusion, social cohesion and social capital. I am currently working on a project that seeks to assess the effectiveness of public expenditure in reducing social exclusion. It seeks to develop innovative new forms of quantitative modelling using geographical information systems (GIS). I am also part of a research team that is developing a model to understand and address tensions between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of urban development and the implications for assessing sustainable development in urban areas.

Dr. Jian Zuo

Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. George Zillante

Associate Professor, School of Natural and Built Environment, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Stephen Pullen

Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environment, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Anne Burger

The University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Keri Chiveralls

Research Fellow, School of Natural and Built Environs, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Keri Chiveralls completed her PhD in Urban and Social Planning at the University of Adelaide in 2008. Since then she has worked as a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute for Social Research at the University of Adelaide completing contract research focused on issues of sustainability and climate change. She is now based at the University of South Australia where she is working as a Research Fellow on a number of different research projects focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

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