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.