Integrated Political Strategy

It is an exciting time for research on how business firms engage in politics, public policy outcomes, and subsequent performance of regulated and unregulated firms.

Strategy scholars have been working away at understanding the conditions under which firms engage in CPA and the implications of CPA for firm performance.  Political science scholars have been working on how firms and interest groups representing business interests influence political processes.  Economics scholars have been working on social efficiency effects of firm CPA and optimal policy for regulating CPA.

While scholars in each field have for the most part pursued their work independently of scholars in other fields, there is evidence that convergence is underway.  We might be at the beginning of an exciting period in which multidisciplinary work seeks to combine findings from various fields into a more integrated view of political strategy (de Figueiredo 2009).  Research streams in strategy (Baron 1995; Hillman & Hitt’s (1999) theoretical framework; Lux et al. 2011), political science (notably Drutman’s 2015 book The Business of America is Lobbying), and economics (especially de Figueiredo’s (2009) paper “Integrated Political Strategy”) is converging on linking existing research on the conditions under which firms engage in corporate political activity (CPA), what kinds of political activities they engage in, the effect of these activities on public policy outcomes, and the effect of those policy outcomes on firm performance.

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