Corporate Political Activism

by S. Sethi



Political involvement can be broadly defined as participation in the formulation and execution of public policy at various levels of government. It has been and must always be a necessary and important activity for any private interest group in our pluralistic society. To the extent that the locus of the public policy agenda, the decisions about the future shape of society and the role of the private sector in that future-shifts from the marketplace to the political arena, it is imperative that corporations increase their political involvement. They can thus insure that public policy choices are influenced by the views of the private sector in general and by the corporate sector in particular. Political involvement and political power are inextricably linked. Therefore, where political participation might be viewed by one group as a positive act in a democratic system, another group might construe such participation as abuse of power and an attempt to subvert democratic processes. A survey of business people might show a greater desire for political activism, whereas public opinion polls show a desire on the part of the public for business to be politically less active.

California Management Review

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