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Shepheard M, Martin P. Social Licence to Irrigate: The Boundary Problem. 2008.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/2114
Social Licence to Irrigate: The Boundary Problem
The ability of an irrigation business to use water depends on having a property right to access water, but exercise of this right also depends on government decisions to allocate water or invest in water infrastructure. While this secure property right may be necessary, it is far from sufficient. A social licence is also needed. It has been suggested that a legal 'duty of care', or triple bottom line reporting will protect that social licence. This article suggests that such rhetoric masks a fundamental management problem of the lack of boundaries to social accountability. Managers face a conflict between their legal duties to manage the enterprise in the (economic) interests of its owners and the vaguely defined expectation that they will meet unspecified social obligations.