The ‘social licence to operate’ began as a metaphor to bring attention to the need for companies to earn acceptance from their host communities. Today, it is a necessary management framework for complex times.
A social licence strategy is essentially a stakeholder engagement strategy for navigating complex socio-political environments. This book provides the framework, tools and case studies a company needs to create a foundation for truly sustainable community development. This 90-minute guide will enable you to:
  • Define the social licence to operate
  • Make the business case for actively managing your social licence to operate
  • Measure the social licence to operate
  • Develop a step-by-step plan to restore, build, maintain and enhance your company’s social licence, and
  • Report on your social licence.
This book is for managers in any company facing rising social scrutiny due to unwanted social or environmental impacts. You may be working in natural resources, renewable energy, oil and gas, forestry, construction, manufacturing, retail, food processing, pharmaceuticals or any industry that is facing rising stakeholder expectations and increasing criticism.


Leeora Black provides her readers with a hands-on description on what the social licence to operate is, why it is important to have and how managers can measure and manage it. Her book combines the best of both worlds: firstly, academic precision and theoretical knowledge and secondly, an in-depth understanding of dynamics in social networks which Leeora Black gained in her work as a consultant. Managers and students will find this book useful as it enables better understanding of how businesses with a strong societal impact, for example mining companies, can interact with stakeholders in a meaningful manner that will increase the value the business delivers to the community it is operating in”.
Dr. Julia Roloff, ESC Rennes School of Business


Dr Leeora Black is Managing Director of the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, a specialist management consulting and training firm based in Melbourne, Australia. After a career in corporate communications and consulting, she completed a doctorate in corporate social responsibility at Monash University.
She is a globally recognised authority on social responsibility, stakeholder engagement and the social licence to operate, advising global companies, government-owned corporations and civic sector organisations on how to develop collaborative relationships that contribute to sustainable community development.

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