Corporate Political Activity: A Literature Review and Research Agenda

Thomas C. Lawton, Steven Michael McGuire, Tazeeb Rajwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

300 Citations (SciVal)


This paper reviews the diverse literature on corporate political activity (CPA) and develops a framework that details and integrates existing research in this field. A systematic analysis of extant CPA literatures is conducted to order them into domains that have implications for organizational performance. The paper is structured into three such domain emphases, which require further research investigation: resources and capabilities focus; institutional focus; and political environment focus. The contribution of each to an understanding of CPA in pursuit or defence of corporate competitive advantage is discussed. The authors also suggest that the internationalization of business, including the more recent emergence of developing country economies and companies, presents scholars with the challenge of understanding CPA in more varied institutional settings. CPA practices continue to expand as commerce goes increasingly global and, consequently, involves a wider array of political actors and institutions. The paper contributes by increasing the clarity of CPA classification, reflecting on the implications of a multi-polar world for CPA research and advancing future agendas for scholars in this research community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86–105
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date24 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


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