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Call for papers - Journal of Business Research: Critical perspectives on corporate political activities (CPA)

  • 1.  Call for papers - Journal of Business Research: Critical perspectives on corporate political activities (CPA)

    Posted 24 days ago

    === FINAL REMINDER ===


    Call for papers for a special issue of Journal of Business Research


    Critical perspectives on corporate political activities (CPA): Exploring strategic and stakeholder non-value maximizing implications and externalities of corporate political activities 


    Deadline: December 31st, 2021


    Guest editors:

    Michael Hadani, Saint Mary's College of California

    Daniel Nyberg, University of Newcastle Australia

    Nicolas Dahan, California State Monterey Bay


    Corporate political activity (CPA) is one of the most common non-market strategies used by firms today (Hadani, Doh & Schneider, 2016, 2019; Nyberg, 2021; Ozer, 2010); its public policy impact ranges from food labels, wages, transportation safety, workplace safety and diversity regulation, industry barriers to entry, the cost of food, corporate liability, individual bankruptcy, cost of utilities, GHG emissions, to tax policy. These are just some among the many public policy issues impacting business and the average citizen on a daily basis. Thus, beyond the politically active firm itself, CPA impacts the firm's competitors, shareholders, stakeholders and society at large, as well as the broader democratic institutions of society (Barley, 2007; Neron, 2016; Nyberg, 2021; Reich, 2007).


    Such an impact has become more pronounced and visible since the landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens' United (and the 2014 McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision)– allowing unlimited use of corporate funds in support or opposition of politicians running for office. The January 6th riot at the Capitol in DC and the public backlash to some politically active firms, has further brought to the fore the indirect consequences of CPA. It has highlighted both the risks for the firms engaging in CPA as well as the potential effects on the public at large.


    The work of Gilens and Page (2014) indicates that corporate interests impact public policy outcomes in ways that are muting the public interest on public policy. Indeed, a recent book by Katherine Ghel and Michael Porter (2020) - The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy – highlights some of these issues with a special emphasis on both the supply and the demand side of the so called "political marketplace" and the significant political and social costs and long-term risks associated with CPA.


    Despite the growing power and impact of CPA, and the rising concerns about its competitive and societal externalities and costs (Barley 2007; Hadani, 2012; Hadani, Bonardi, & Dahan, 2017; Hadani & Schuler, 2013; Neron, 2016; Nyberg & Murray, 2020; Nyberg, Spicer, & Wright, 2013; Prabhat & Primo, 2019; Repetto, 2007; Walker, 2012), mainstream CPA research has mostly focused on the descriptive and instrumental value of CPA. The literature has focused on the firm as the sole beneficiary of CPA, but ignored, for the most part, ethical and normative analyses of CPA, as well as the societal risks and costs it may engender. Mantere, Pajunen and Lamberg (2009: 106) summarize this situation succinctly: "Indeed, mainstream research has considered CPA to be an integral and equal part of the competitive strategies of a firm". This is; an instrumental-structuralist view that has become a dominant monolith in CPA scholarship. They further note that there is a clear demarcation between a 'functionalist' CPA scholarship and a more ethically oriented CSR scholarship, which is far less developed and explored (for a similar view see Neron, 2016). This suggests that paradigmatic gate keeping may be occurring in CPA scholarship.


    Aim and Scope

    The special issue is motivated by the above-described state of affairs: the lack of focus on the darker side of CPA, both to politically active firms and stakeholders. The aim and scope of this special issue is to address the above theoretical and empirical voids and potential paradigmatic gate keeping. The aim is to move away from a strict focus on the firm as the major beneficiary of CPA, towards investigating and theorizing the impact of CPA on shareholders, stakeholders and the public at large.


    We are calling for both theoretical and empirical papers, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods papers that explore the potential negative consequences, costs, risks and externalities that may be associated with corporate political activities, across its different types and forms. We seek to showcase the latest developments in, and future directions of cutting edge research on the broader consequences of CPA.



    The topics below provide a general but non-exhaustive list of questions and topics that can be addressed in this issue through quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method approaches, drawing on a variety of theoretical lenses and paradigms that should theoretically expand and challenge existing views:

    What are the potential risks and costs associated with CPA? What are the boundary or contingency factors that attenuate such risks?

    Taking into account the opaque nature of CPA, what role does mass media and other forms of visibility or scrutiny play in impacting the propensity for CPA and CPA outcomes?

    Can we model and capture firms' propensity to use dark money and other less overt means of CPA? And how does such a propensity impact more overt forms of CPA?

    How does external and internal ownership as well as top executive and board characteristics shape CPA its potential for negative externalities? How do firms or top executives use celebrity status in CPA?

    How does CPA shape firm's legal environments? How does CPA influence broader public policy roles, functions and processes?

    What is the relationship among different forms of CPA and stakeholders? How does CPA impact stakeholders? How do stakeholders impact CPA? Can they?

    Can a normative lens be applied to CPA? Should such a lens be applied? Does it complement or conflict with an instrumental focus on CPA? Does it matter to executives' CPA decision making?


    Manuscript submission information:

    Submission window: October 1st 2021 to December 31st 2021

    Papers targeting the special issue should be submitted through the Journal of Business Research submission system.

    All manuscripts must strictly follow the guidelines of the Journal of Business Research.

    Article Type (select when submitting): corporate political activities



    Barley, S. R. (2007). Corporations, democracy, and the public good. Journal of Management Inquiry, 16(3), 20–1215.

    Gehl, K, & Porter. M. (2020). The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy. Harvard Business Review Press.

    Gilens, M., & Page, B. I. (2014). Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens. Perspectives on Politics, 12(03), 564-581.

    Hadani, M. (2012). Institutional ownership monitoring and corporate political activity: Governance implications. Journal of Business Research, 65 (7): 944–950.

    Hadani, M., Bonardi J. P., & Dahan, N. M. (2017). Corporate political activity, public policy uncertainty, and firm outcomes: A meta-analysis. Strategic Organization, 15(3): 338–366.

    Hadani, M., Doh, J. P., & Schneider, M. A. (2016). Corporate political activity and regulatory capture: How some companies blunt the knife of socially oriented investor activism. Journal of Management, 44(5): 2064–2093.

    Hadani, M., Doh, J.P., & Schneider, M. (2019). Social movements and corporate political activity: Managerial responses to socially oriented shareholder activism. Journal of Business Research, 95, 156-170.

    Hadani, M., & Schuler, D. A. (2013). In search of El Dorado: The elusive financial returns on corporate political investments. Strategic Management Journal, 34: 165–181.

    Mantere S, Pajunen K, Lamberg J-A. (2009). Vices and Virtues of Corporate Political Activity: The Challenge of International Business. Business & Society, 48(1):105-132.

    Murray J, Nyberg D, & Rogers J.(2016) Corporate political activity through constituency stitching: Intertextually aligning a phantom community. Organization, 23(6):908-931.

    Néron, P.-Y. (2016). Rethinking the ethics of corporate political activities in a post-Citizens United era: Political equality, corporate citizenship, and market failures. Journal of Business Ethics 136(4): 715–728.

    Nyberg, D. (2021). Corporations, politics, and democracy: Corporate political activities as political corruption. Organization Theory, 2: 1–24.

    Nyberg D, & Murray J. (2020) Corporate Politics in the Public Sphere: Corporate Citizenspeak in a Mass Media Policy Contest. Business & Society, 59(4):579-611.

    Nyberg, D., Spicer, A., & Wright, C. (2013). Incorporating citizens: Corporate political engagement with climate change in Australia. Organization, 20: 433–453.

    Ozer, M. (2010). Top management teams and corporate political activity: Do top management teams have influence on corporate political activity? Journal of Business Research, 63: 1196–1201.

    Prabhat, S., & Primo, D. M. (2019). Risky business: Do disclosure and shareholder approval of corporate political contributions affect firm performance? Business & Politics, 21(2): 205–239.

    Reich, R. B. (2007). Supercapitalism: The transformation of business, democracy, and everyday life. New York: Knopf.

    Repetto, R. (2007). The need for better internal oversight of corporate lobbying. Challenge, 50(1): 76–96.

    Walker, E. T. (2012). Putting a face on the issue: corporate stakeholder mobilization in professional grassroots lobbying campaigns. Business & Society, 51(4): 561–601.

    Daniel Nyberg | Professor
    Newcastle Business School

    T: +61 2 4921 7923

    The University of Newcastle (UON)
    University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia

    The University of Newcastle

    The World Needs New

    Ranked 207th in the world by QS World University Rankings 2020

    I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land in which the University resides and pay my respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
    I extend this acknowledgement to the Worimi and Awabakal people of the land in which the Newcastle City campus resides and which I work.

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