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Aligning for AdvantageCompetitive Strategies for the Political and Social Arenas$
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Thomas C. Lawton, Jonathan P. Doh, and Tazeeb Rajwani

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604746.001.0001

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Individual versus Collective Action *

Individual versus Collective Action *

Chapter:
(p.75) 5 Individual versus Collective Action*
Source:
Aligning for Advantage
Author(s):

Thomas C. Lawton

Jonathan P. Doh

Tazeeb Rajwani

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604746.003.0005

This chapter reviews the collective action, corporate political activity, and corporate social responsibility literatures and concludes that most companies would benefit by recognizing cultural, industry, firm, and technological factors when deciding between individual lobbying and collective nonmarket strategies. Companies that understand the costs and benefits of both collective and individual action in the process of political and social strategy development and alignment will maintain their competitive advantage and may flourish in this environment. Therefore, companies should carefully consider when to pursue an individual versus collective approach to political and social strategy. Moreover, geographic and regional context, industry considerations, organizational scope and structure, and the specifics of a particular issue are all elements that will determine whether individual or collective activism is more appropriate and likely to be more effective. In addition, corporate behaviour, the interest of the firm, and the overall size of the group are also key determinants.

Keywords:   collective action, individual lobbying, corporate behavior, activism

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