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The Business of America is LobbyingHow Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate$
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Lee Drutman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190215514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190215514.001.0001

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How Corporations Make Sense of Politics

How Corporations Make Sense of Politics

(p.118) 6 How Corporations Make Sense of Politics
The Business of America is Lobbying

Lee Drutman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines corporate lobbying from the perspective of corporate managers. It looks at how establishing a government affairs department changes the cost-benefit calculus of political activity. Absent a political operation, corporate managers have a hard time locating their interests, and a hard time making accurate cost-benefit predictions about political engagement. Without internal advocates, without experience, without capacity, without ongoing issues in which they are already invested, political engagement can seem at best an uncertain gamble. But when a company sets up a government affairs department, lobbying has a way of sustaining itself. With more information and experience, managers can better develop realistic policy goals and become more invested in politics. Political activity has high fixed start-up costs, but once companies invest, there are decreasing marginal costs to additional political activity. All of this pushes companies towards more political activity.

Keywords:   business, lobbying, managerial, theory

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