Assessing the Legitimacy of Corporate Political Activity: Uber and the Quest for Responsible Innovation

Journal of Business Ethics:1-19 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Building on literature in political CSR and corporate political activity as well as responsible innovation and responsible lobbying, we introduce a framework to assess the legitimacy status of corporate political activity. We focus on the fact that companies frequently face sharp regulatory backlash after penetrating markets with their innovations. In response to regulatory backlash, big tech companies often employ an arsenal of corporate political activities to shape national and local regulatory environments, which raises the important questions about the legitimacy of CPA tactics that we address. To develop and apply this framework, we briefly survey and then assess Uber’s corporate political activities in its 2015 New York City political campaign.

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