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Constituency Building as the Foundation for Corporate Political Strategy
Michael D. Lord
The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005)
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 112-124
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165932
Page Count: 13
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Public policy directly and indirectly influences firm performance in a variety of ways. Unlike the marketplace, however, politics is not a familiar game for most managers. Many managers continue to struggle with how to better understand and constructively influence their public policy environments. In this article, I describe how and why constituency building is an especially effective foundation for formulating and implementing a comprehensive corporate political strategy. Constituency building efforts that are grounded in ongoing and systemic stakeholder management can generate political influence beyond any other means. Perhaps just as important, effective constituency building offers unique opportunities for leveraging beneficial linkages between political strategies and market-based strategies that can help enhance the competitive advantages of both. Research at the intersection of management and political science provides key insights into the importance and dynamics of constituency building. Using these research findings and a series of specific case examples, I explore overarching strategic issues for planning effective constituency building efforts and provide some practical, tactical specifics of implementation. As the emerging global economy becomes ever more complex, involving larger numbers and more diverse varieties of public stakeholders, constituency building will only increase in its importance and efficacy. Constituency building is a durable strategy that can reduce corporate and business risks as well as positively enhance overall firm performance.
The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005) © 2003 Academy of Management