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A Neo-Gramscian Approach to Corporate Political Strategy: Conflict and Accommodation in the Climate Change Negotiations

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  • David L. Levy
  • Daniel Egan
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    Abstract

    A neo-Gramscian theoretical framework for corporate political strategy is developed drawing from Gramsci's analysis of the relations among capital, social forces, and the state, and from more contemporary theories. Gramsci's political theory recognizes the centrality of organizations and strategy, directs attention to the organizational, economic, and ideological pillars of power, while illuminating the processes of coalition building, conflict, and accommodation that drive social change. This approach addresses the structure-agency relationship and endogenous dynamics in a way that could enrich institutional theory. The framework suggests a strategic concept of power, which provides space for contestation by subordinate groups in complex dynamic social systems. We apply the framework to analyse the international negotiations to control emissions of greenhouse gases, focusing on the responses of firms in the US and European oil and automobile industries. The neo-Gramscian framework explains some specific features of corporate responses to challenges to their hegemonic position and points to the importance of political struggles within civil society. The analysis suggests that the conventional demarcation between market and non-market strategies is untenable, given the embeddedness of markets in contested social and political structures and the political character of strategies directed toward defending and enhancing markets, technologies, corporate autonomy and legitimacy. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2003.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (06)
    Pages: 803-829

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:4:p:803-829

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380

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    Cited by:
    1. Prasenjit Banerjee & Jason F. Shogren, 2013. "Climate Change: Risk, Reputation, and Mechanism Design," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1303, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    2. Herzig, Christian & Moon, Jeremy, 2013. "Discourses on corporate social ir/responsibility in the financial sector," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1870-1880.
    3. Hélène Peton & Antoine Blanc, 2011. "The interplay of agencies in institutional disruption: An explanation of the slow death of asbestos in France," Post-Print halshs-00672436, HAL.
    4. Jonatan Pinkse & Ans Kolk, 2012. "MNES and climate change : exploring institutional failures and embeddedness," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00707360, HAL.
    5. Burkard Eberlein & Dirk Matten, 2009. "Business Responses to Climate Change Regulation in Canada and Germany: Lessons for MNCs from Emerging Economies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 241-255, March.
    6. Sarasini, Steven, 2013. "Institutional work and climate change: Corporate political action in the Swedish electricity industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 480-489.
    7. Gupta, Suraksha & Czinkota, Michael & Melewar, T.C., 2013. "Embedding knowledge and value of a brand into sustainability for differentiation," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 287-296.
    8. Wagner, Marcus, 2010. "The role of corporate sustainability performance for economic performance: A firm-level analysis of moderation effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1553-1560, May.
    9. Robert Brulle, 2014. "Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 681-694, February.
    10. Geels, Frank W., 2014. "Reconceptualising the co-evolution of firms-in-industries and their environments: Developing an inter-disciplinary Triple Embeddedness Framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 261-277.

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