Corporate Political Agency: The Construction of Competition in Public Affairs

What factors affect the choice of political advocacy strategies by business firms? What agents do they use to influence the business and governmental environment? When should a corporation employ an outside agent such as a trade association, or rely on an in-house public affairs manager? In Corporate Political Agency, Mitnick brings together leading scholars to present a first-ever comprehensive overview of the burgeoning phenomenon of corporate political agency. Beginning with the basic theoretical concerns of understanding the competitive nature of the democratic system, this collection moves on to the practical considerations of choosing the means for political intervention and whether the various forms of public affairs activity chosen actually work as intended. Political and organizational science scholars, policymakers, and managers will find this book an essential resource on political activism in the business world. “Corporate Political Agency makes an important contribution to our theoretical and empirical analysis of the political role and impact of the contemporary business corporation. Business scholars, management practitioners, and public policy decision makers alike will be indebted to Professor Barry Mitnick for assembling in this comprehensive volume significant current research by himself and other leading scholars in the business and public policy field. The book enhances our understanding of the corporation in American politics as we approach the 21st century.” –Edwin M. Epstein, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley “Barry Mitnick helped develop agency theory. This book applies the concept to corporate political activity in ways that are indispensable to teachers and researchers. This is a ‘must read’ book. “This is an outstanding collection of papers on the application of agency theory to corporate political action. Barry Mitnick has clearly moved the field forward. “Our understanding of corporate political activity has been ‘long on story, short on theory.’ This book takes a big step toward closing that gap. Readers will be richly rewarded by the papers in this volume. “Corporate political activity is an enormously important subject in the 1990s. It is also widely misunderstood. The papers in this book shed a great deal of light on business and politics through the use of agency theory. Sound concepts, clear thinking, and good writing make this a very useful addition to your library.” –James E. Post, Boston University

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