Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often touted as the solution to social and environmental ills associated with Australia's mining boom. This paper extends prior research concerning mining's social impacts and related CSR programmes by investigating the emergence of new institutional arrangements in pre-existing rural communities which are now dominated by the mining industry.
The paper finds that major Australian mining companies' increasingly decentralised management approaches to CSR policies and programming lead to crucial and sometimes troubling implementation gaps between the intentions of corporate headquarter level policies and their carrying out at the community level. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for remote communities in relation to how mining companies' CSR programmes are currently implemented. The discussion offers suggestions for improving long term outcomes for remote communities through better targetted CSR programs.