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Unveiling Corporate Political Activities: Procurement Lobbying

Corporate Political Activity (CPA) studies seek to understand corporate attempts to shape government policy / decisions in ways favorable to organization (Hillman, Schuler, & Keim, 2004). CPA use is ubiquitous in terms of geographic dispersion and industries (Ansolabehere, De Figueiredo, & Snyder, 2003). While several articles pinpoint the importance of government sales for CPA engagement (Hart, 2001; Kim, 2008; Mitchell, Hansen, & Jepsen, 1997) or establish relation between CPA and company benefits (Arvate, Barbosa, & Fuzitani, 2013; Boas, Hidalgo, & Richardson, 2014; Goldman, Rocholl, & So, 2013; Tripathi, 2000), there is scant evidence of the details of political activities aimed to influencing government procurement (Nownes, 2006). We argue, following Nownes (2006), that procurement lobbying (i.e. activities to support obtaining government contracts) are quite different from policy lobbying (i.e, activities focused on policy change and other government decision). The aim of this paper is to analyze the procurement lobbying activities and compare those activities with existing models for policy (or issue) lobbying. Ground in this analysis, this paper draws theoretical and practical proposition in relation to procurement lobbying.

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