Jari Eloranta
Appalachian State University



(Thursday, 1st January 2004)

Title : Corporate Political Action – How To Study and How To Measure It?

Here in this workshop the focus will be on exploring ways to analyze, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the complex interaction between firms and the domestic political markets. Thus, the workshop features firms with mainly domestic market bases or firms at least partially dependent on the domestic supply of public goods. Variance theories have dominated corporate political action (CPA) research since the pioneering works in 1970s and 1980s. Process theories, advocating a longitudinal approach, offer an entirely new perspective to CPA research, as they are able to explain processes across number of levels of analysis and link actions to contexts. We add to the existing CPA literature by offering a process model that can be useful especially in historical and evolutionary analysis. Our model depicts CPA as a complex system, in which firms’ actions are affected by various factors across organizational, industry and institutional levels of analysis. As political actions also influence these factors, the process is in essence systemic and path dependent. As such, the workshop lecture will feature three main parts: 1) Discussion of the research patterns (see Lamberg et al. 2004 below); 2) Discussion of how to study CPA, comparing frameworks (see Skippari et al. 2003 and Masters-Keim 1985 below); 3) The difficulties involved in quantitative analysis of institutional processes (A. Constructing proxies, see especially Gray-Lowery 1988 and Knack 2002; B. Arriving at a framework, see e.g. Lenway-Rehbein 1991).

Bibliographical references :

Lamberg, Juha-Antti, Mika Skippari, Jari Eloranta & Saku Mäkinen (2004), ‘The Evolution of Corporate Political Action: A Framework for Processual Analysis'. Working Paper (unpublished).

Skippari, Mika, Jari Eloranta, Juha-Antti Lamberg & Petri Parvinen (2003), ‘Conceptual and theoretical underpinnings in the research of corporate political activity: a bibliometric analysis’. Working Paper (unpublished).

Gray , Virginia & David Lowery (1988), 'Interest Group Politics and Economic Growth in the U.S. States'. The American Political Science Review , 82:1, 109-131.

Masters, Marick F. & Gerald D. Keim (1985), 'Determinants of PAC Participation Among Large Corporations'. The Journal of Politics , 47:4, 1158-1173.

Lenway, Stefanie Ann & Kathleen Rehbein (1991), ‘Leaders, Followers, and Free Riders: An Empirical Test of Variation in Corporate Political Involvement'. The Academy of Management Journal , 34:4, 893-905.

Knack, Stephen (2002), ‘Social Capital and the Quality of Government: Evidence from the States'. American Journal of Political Science , 46:4, 772-785.