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Unlocking the mindsets of Government Affairs Managers Cultural dimensions of corporate political activity

Unlocking the mindsets of Government Affairs Managers Cultural dimensions of corporate political... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the cultural dimensions of corporate political activity (CPA). Design/methodology/approach – The study uses a qualitative research design. Data collected from interviews conducted with the Brussels‐based Government Affairs Managers of French and British firms are analysed to examine the impact of national culture on their objectives and preferred political strategies. Findings – The findings suggest possible relationships between the cultural dimensions elaborated by Hofstede and the different components of corporate political action: uncertainty avoidance can help explain managers' objectives when becoming politically active; the long‐term vs short‐term dimension can account for their general approaches to political activity; their level of participation in the political process can be explained by the individualism vs collectivism dimension; and their choices of specific lobbying tactics and techniques can be explained in terms of power distance. Practical implications – As firms increasingly interact with foreign rivals when seeking to influence policy outcomes, knowing that corporate political strategies are in part culturally grounded can help Government Affairs Managers to anticipate, respond to and act on the strategies pursued by firms socialised in other national cultures. Originality/value – While previous mainstream research into CPA is based largely on universal theories, the primary contribution of the paper is to introduce national culture as a variable to explain cross‐country differences in the types and processes of firms' political activities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Unlocking the mindsets of Government Affairs Managers Cultural dimensions of corporate political activity

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1352-7606
DOI
10.1108/13527601011038697
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the cultural dimensions of corporate political activity (CPA). Design/methodology/approach – The study uses a qualitative research design. Data collected from interviews conducted with the Brussels‐based Government Affairs Managers of French and British firms are analysed to examine the impact of national culture on their objectives and preferred political strategies. Findings – The findings suggest possible relationships between the cultural dimensions elaborated by Hofstede and the different components of corporate political action: uncertainty avoidance can help explain managers' objectives when becoming politically active; the long‐term vs short‐term dimension can account for their general approaches to political activity; their level of participation in the political process can be explained by the individualism vs collectivism dimension; and their choices of specific lobbying tactics and techniques can be explained in terms of power distance. Practical implications – As firms increasingly interact with foreign rivals when seeking to influence policy outcomes, knowing that corporate political strategies are in part culturally grounded can help Government Affairs Managers to anticipate, respond to and act on the strategies pursued by firms socialised in other national cultures. Originality/value – While previous mainstream research into CPA is based largely on universal theories, the primary contribution of the paper is to introduce national culture as a variable to explain cross‐country differences in the types and processes of firms' political activities.

Journal

Cross Cultural Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 4, 2010

Keywords: Organizational behaviour; Politics; National cultures; United Kingdom; France

References