Lobbying, defined as an effort to influence policy through strategic communication, has grown dramatically in recent years. This paper presents three viewpoints regarding the societal impact of corporate lobbying on society: one perspective argues that lobbying will be primarily beneficial, an alternative perspective contests this viewpoint and suggests that it is generally harmful, and the third argues that the impact is contingent on a number of factors. Proponents of lobbying argue that it is a vital mechanism to transmit valuable information and expertise to policymakers, leading to substantive legislative solutions for resolving complex societal issues. Critics, on the other hand, point out that business dominates lobbying and can leverage vast resources to push biased information in the pursuit of narrow profit-oriented interests. There are three key axes of contention between these three perspectives; first, concerning the definition of lobbying and its relation to corporate power; second, its relationship to democratic processes; and third, regarding alignment or conflict between societal and business interests. The paper examines these issues and draws implications for future research.
Tel Aviv University
Rami Kaplan teaches and the departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Labor Studies, Tel Aviv University. He studies various aspects of global corporate capitalism, including its historical emergence and spread, corporate power and social responsibility, the global...
David L. Levy
University of Massachusetts
David L. Levy is a Professor of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and was a co-founder of the Sustainable Solutions Lab there. David, an Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award Winner, conducts research on corporate and societal responses to climate...
Kathleen Rehbein is an associate professor of management at Marquette University’s College of Management. She received her Ph.D. in Economics at Washington University. Kathleen’s research has focused on understanding business/government interactions, how firms manage...
Brian Kelleher Richter
University of Chicago
Brian Kelleher Richter is an interdisciplinary scholar at the intersection of management, economics, and political science—having published in leading journals in all three fields. He holds a Ph.D. from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a SB from MIT’s Sloan...
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