Is Corporate Political Activity a Field?

Business and Society 58 (7):1376-1405 (2019)
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This article focuses upon answering the following question: Does corporate political activity (CPA) stand as an academic field? Following Hambrick and Chen, we consider three elements of the emergence of an academic field—differentiation, mobilization, and legitimacy. Utilizing a variety of data sources, we find CPA to be well differentiated from other academic fields; to have undertaken a number of activities to mobilize CPA as a field, but short of large-scale unification; and to have earned low to moderate legitimacy within management, but little legitimacy outside of management. All in all, at this time, CPA does not squarely meet the elements necessary to emerge as a field.



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