Corporate Sociopolitical Involvement: A Reflection of Whose Preferences? Academic Article uri icon


  • © Academy of Management Perspectives. The management literature has devoted increased attention to nonmarket activities of firms, such as political involvement and social responsibility, including philanthropy. While these activities may be presumed to have the intent of improving the competitive position of firms or enhancing their reputation, firms have recently increased their support for or opposition to a wide array of politically charged social issues with no direct performance motivation. These "sociopolitical issues" are vastly different from corporate social responsibility and corporate political activities, as they are divisive, emotionally charged, and institutionally contested social issues. In this article, we explore sociopolitical issues and develop a distinct model that relies on multiple theoretical perspectives - agency theory and a push-versus-pull perspective of stakeholder theory - to provide complementary or at times competing explanations for firm involvement in such controversial issues. We also explore the contexts (or facilitating institutional environments) that enable management to get involved in sociopolitical issues. In addition to drawing attention to this growing phenomenon, the article provides guidelines for future research on corporate participation in politically charged social issues.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nalick, M., Josefy, M., Zardkoohi, A., & Bierman, L.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • November 2016