Events login

Mike Ilitch School of Business

Warning Icon This event is in the past.
June 13, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Category: Other
Location: Prentis Building #27 | Map
5201 Cass
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

Michael Greiner, fourth-year doctoral student in strategic management in the Mike Ilitch School of Business, will be defending his dissertation, "The political landscape: A new approach to understanding corporate political activity." All are welcome to attend.

Mike’s dissertation committee is composed of Jaegul Lee (Chair), Scott Julian, Christine Jackson, Michael H. Belzer (WSU, Economics Dept.) and Sandra Rothenberg (Rochester Institute of Technology). 


Despite the fact that Corporate Political Activity (CPA) is an area of research generating increasing interest among both academics and practitioners, there has been relatively little empirical research in the field, and what research has been done has often been inconclusive. In this dissertation, I argue that prior research has been hampered by a theory that relies upon a market analysis to understand this non-market activity. Instead, I describe and test a model of CPA in which business interests negotiate three factors in their efforts to convince politicians to support their positions: the ideology of the politician, the politician's relationships, and the political trends in the politician's constituency. I also argue that two institutions moderate CPA: strong political parties and the politicians' ideology. Relying upon agency theory, I argue that where top managers have the ability to behave opportunistically, they will be more likely to engage in CPA that targets politicians with more extreme ideologies rather than the undecided moderates. Such CPA might be personally satisfying to the managers, but it is unlikely to benefit the firm. I test these theories on a unique dataset and find support for them. This result brings more sophistication to understanding the mechanisms of CPA, while also helping to explain a problem that had previously puzzled scholars, namely why businesses engage in CPA when research has failed to find a link between CPA and firm performance in most industries.

For more information about this event, please contact Jaegul Lee at 313-577-4565 or