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The Political Constitution of the Corporation

A Management Studies View Alexander Styhre, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
In this insightful book, Alexander Styhre examines how corporations, often understood primarily as an economic entities or legal devices, seek to influence and shape the market and the wider society in which they operate. Given the scope of such activities in most advanced economies, Styhre argues that the corporation is a political agent in its own right and that it must be critically analysed in these terms.
Extent: c 240 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: April 2020
ISBN: 978 1 78990 076 7
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78990 077 4

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  • Business and Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Organisation Studies
  • Law and Business
In this insightful book, Alexander Styhre examines how corporations, often understood primarily as an economic entities or legal devices, seek to influence and shape the market and the wider society in which they operate. Given the scope of such activities in most advanced economies, Styhre argues that the corporation is a political agent in its own right and that it must be critically analysed in these terms.

The book discusses the history and mechanisms of corporate law and the introduction of regulatory control to show how this has led to the development of a ‘market for political influence’ in the form of the lobbyism industry, think tank scholarship and advocacy, and donations to politicians and their parties. Theoretical perspectives are complemented by empirical studies as chapters analyse a variety of practices, such as corporate social responsibility commitments, in the light of corporations’ political objectives.

Management studies scholars and graduate students will benefit from the broadened perspective this book adds to organisation theory and management studies literature. It will also prove an insightful read for policymakers and those working in regulatory agencies, as well as management consultants.
‘Styhre provides a much-needed management perspective on the political dimension of corporations. Reaching back to the origins of the corporation to trace its constitution through politics, he investigates the role of politics in markets and markets in politics, opening up understanding of the corporation to its environment in a way that reminds the reader of Polanyi’s great works. This is a book that should be on the reading list for any management scholar as well as for every MBA student.’
– Stefan Arora-Jonsson, Uppsala University, Sweden
Content: Introduction: The political constitution of the corporation 1. The legal invention of the incorporated business 2. Market regulation and corporate interests 3. The market for political influence 4. The question of corporate social responsibilities 5. The corporation and the future competitive capitalism Bibliography Index