Political engagement discussions
Corporate political engagement has become a significant risk factor for organisations, especially for larger organisations. Social evaluation of this type of activity tends to be viewed negatively, based on the perception that the organisation is using its market power to exert undue influence. This issue has a long history; for example, in late nineteenth century America, fears that policymakers had become captive to large business led to the adoption of anti-monopoly laws and regulations.
Organisations and policymakers both agree that effective corporate law-making and regulation requires sharing of knowledge and information within and between government and business. Practitioners would like to see research work on how this interaction could best be governed, what sort of transparency is appropriate, and new insights into how corporate political funding and lobbying strategies should best be structured. Broadening this out somewhat, this section also addresses other “contributions,” starting with the narrower question of the value or appropriateness of philanthropic gifts by organisations, through to the much wider question of how leaders’ personal views and those of the organisation they represent can – or should – be aligned.
Finally, research insight that addresses the practices and outcomes of interaction between government and business – including commercial diplomacy, advocacy, media, activism, and social justice – with regard to commerce and sustainable economic development would be valuable to practitioners. In this respect, there is a need for insights into how different national governments seek to facilitate or frustrate alignment of global rules for business activity in critical areas such as tax, human rights, or environmental impact, and the emerging new dynamics around government-led organisational nationalism.