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Corporate Political Power: How Business Actors Define the Rules that Govern their Responsible Behaviour


In this cutting-edge project, I ask the research question: “How do business actors define the transnational rules that govern corporations’ responsible behaviour?”. Extending insights from political science and management studies, the central objective of this research project is to enlarge the scope of actors, activities, and processes being studied, and reveal more nuanced ways through which corporations exert power in and over political rules. This main objective is operationalized into four working packages. WP1 aims to synthesize the existing literature on corporate power in and over rules. The other WPs elucidate three indirect and often overlooked types of corporate political power i.e. power in and through: global production networks (GPNs) [WP2]; big four consultancies [WP3]; and trade associations [WP4]. To this end, I create a novel dataset of national and international governmental CSR policies from different countries, international organizations, and regional organizations in all major world regions spanning a 65-year period by drawing together data from different online platforms. In WP2, I measure the similarities between different governmental CSR policies (based on Cosine similarity) as a result of backward and forward GPN participation. In WP3, I code the authorshipof these CSR policies and the degree of similarities with publications by the big four consultancies. In WP4, I send out a large-scale survey to trade association representatives to ask about their lobbying on the CSR policies within my dataset. To further unpack the causal relations of WP3 and WP4, I also conduct in-depth interviews. By drawing on management theories on how companies govern global markets and political theories on the functioning of governments, I ambitiously move this research agenda forward in an interdisciplinary manner. This helps to overcome the treatment of either business or politics as black-boxes while also bridging the analytical macro-micro divide.


Net EU contribution
€ 230 774,40
Solbjerg Plads 3
2000 Frederiksberg

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
No data