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The Management of Socio-Political Issues and Environments: Toward a Research Agenda for Corporate Socio-Political Engagement

Journal Article
Socio-political issues and environments are becoming more complex and challenging. In this introduction to the special issue on ‘The Management of Socio-Political Issues and Environments: Organizational and Strategic Perspectives’, the authors take stock of the burgeoning research on how firms interact with socio-political actors and environments over the last few decades, specifically research on Corporate Political Activity and Corporate Social Responsibility. The authors then argue that the socio-political environments and actors with which firms interact are in a state of flux, such that issues are more interrelated and dynamic, and actors are more diverse and demanding. As such, the authors propose a new concept of corporate socio-political engagement (CSPE), which represents a more holistic perspective to understanding complex interactions among firms and their social/political stakeholders, incorporating and transcending conventional notions and tactics documented in the extant nonmarket strategy literature. Using a two-dimensional framework that captures the identity of socio-political actor or the nature of socio-political issues (political, social, or both) as well as the relevant level of analysis at which the interactions unfold, the authors showcase the contributions of the special issue articles to this research agenda. Finally, the authors discuss and specify future research directions for revealing the multifaceted nature of CSPE.
Faculty

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise