Getting it Right: Making Corporate-Community Relations Work

June 2009 | Luc Zandvliet and Mary B. Anderson

Getting it Right: Making Corporate-Community Relations Work

Getting it Right presents a framework for company managers to analyze the consequences of their decisions for communities, as well as practical management options for improving corporate impacts. The book encapsulates lessons learned during the first 9 years of CDA’s Corporate Engagement Project and draws on the experience of companies and local stakeholders at over 40 operating sites of international companies working under difficult circumstances.

Suggested Citation: Anderson, Mary B., and Luc Zandvliet. Getting it Right: Making Corporate-Community Relations Work. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing, 2009.

Table of Contents

Section I

  1. How to Understand Getting It Wrong and Getting It Right: Toward a Framework for Analysis
  2. Benefits Distribution: getting it wrong and getting it right
  3. Corporate Behavior: getting it wrong and getting it right
  4. Side Effects: getting it wrong and getting it right
  5. Making the Transition from Getting It Wrong to Getting It Right
  6. Special note on corporate operations in situations of conflict

Section II

  1. Hiring Policies
  2. Compensation Policies
  3. Contracting Policies
  4. Community Consultation and Negotiation
  5. Special note on establishing grievance procedures
  6. Community Projects
  7. Working with Advocacy NGOs
  8. Working with Government

Section III

  1. Internal Management Issues that Determine the Success or Failure of External Relations
  2. Measuring the Effectiveness of Stakeholder Engagement
  3. ‘Even engineers can get it right…’

Reviews and Praise


It is one of the most practical and focused books on the topic of corporate–community relations that I have read. Highly recommended as a book with practical insights and guidance, based upon the hard-won experience of others.” – Eagle Bulletin 19.6 (2010)

This book is essential reading for company managers and construction contractors working on major projects in developing countries” Jill Shankleman, Woodrow Wilson Center (Full review)

There is a limit to what companies can and should be expected to deliver for the local people. It cannot be a proxy for an absent government. … Still, an oil, gas, or mining company can do a lot to mitigate the impact of their work. And they should read this book to find out where to start.” – Jodi Liss, Energy: The World Affairs Blog Network (Full review)

The book is perhaps most valuable in terms of the overarching perspectives it attempts to impart to managers. …If managers were able to fully take these principles on board, much local opposition could no doubt be avoided.” – Rob Foulkes, Critical Resource (Full review)

This is by far the best book on community relations for corporate practitioners that I have read. It lays out the rationale, the issues, and the pitfalls in a strikingly simple but profound way and presents real case studies that point the way to positive outcomes for all stakeholders.” – Dr. Chris Anderson, Director Corporate and External Affairs Africa, Newmont Mining Corporation

For people interested or involved, directly or indirectly, in CSR, this was the ‘missing’ book, which is now a reality.” – Jean-Pierre Cordier, of French oil company Total

Getting relations right with communities is critical to business success but very challenging. This extraordinary multi-year global study of business and community interactions is richly filled with insightful, practical, and clear advice on how companies and communities can avoid costly mistakes and construct powerful and mutually beneficial relationship.” – James E. Austin, Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Harvard Business School