Competition and Cooperation: New Trends in Public Issue Identification and Resolution

by Stephen Littlejohn

Fall 1986

Volume 29
Issue 1

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Issue management is now being harnessed to assist corporations in the pursuit of their strategic goals. The result is an approach to issue management which can be called "competitive cooperation": competitive, because a company's issues management performance will have a material impact on its competitiveness, measured by achievement of corporate objectives; cooperative, because diverse issue agendas require issue-by-issue coalition building, even with traditional adversaries. This article illustrates the emergence of "competitive cooperation" by examining two companies (Monsanto and Gulf) which, since 1980, underwent strategic repositioning, added greater focus to their issue management programs, and adopted a cooperative approach to issue management.

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