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From informal practices to formal conduct: Which ethical practices and issues for French lobbying consulting?

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  • R. W. Major

    (CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Aix-en-Provence - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III : EA4225)

  • Madina Rival

    ()
    (GREG - CRC - Groupe de recherche en économie et en gestion – Centre de recherche en comptabilité - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM))

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    Abstract

    In France, lobbying consulting is at the same time a recent and not well received activity, conversely to the United States. The influence of public decision making is certainly a particularly sensitive occupation, at both managerial and societal levels. This is why ethics as applied to business can play a central role in its establishment. This paper examines the practices and issues of ethics in lobbying consulting. The chosen field in this exploratory study is France. The case of a lobbying consultancy firm is more specifically developed. A three month participant observation research is complemented by secondary data on the profession in France and in the United States, as well as on French, European, American and Quebec institutions. The results of this research are developed along two lines: 1. The practice of lobbying ethics differs according to age and degree of institutionalization of the profession in the country. In France ethics is informal and based primarily on exemplary, with a particularly low regulatory potential. 2. The stakes of ethics are both internal to the lobbying consulting profession, in its structuring from an emerging to an established profession, as well as external in the clarifying of its relationship with its stakeholders including customers, government and the civil society.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00709380.

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    Date of creation: 06 Jan 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00709380

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    Related research

    Keywords: Ethics; lobbying; management consulting;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Mercier, Samuel & Isaac, Henri, 2000. "Ethique ou déontologie : quelles différences pour quelles conséquences managériales ? L'analyse comparative de 30 codes d'éthique et de déontologie," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3102, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. John M. de Figueiredo & James J. Kim, 2004. "When Do Firms Hire Lobbyists? The Organization of Lobbying at the Federal Communications Commission," NBER Working Papers 10553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. John Boatright, 2009. "Rent Seeking in a Market with Morality: Solving a Puzzle About Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(4), pages 541-552, October.
    4. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 587-611.
    5. Pierre-Yves Néron, 2010. "Business and the Polis: What Does it Mean to See Corporations as Political Actors?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 333-352, July.
    6. Francis Weyzig, 2009. "Political and Economic Arguments for Corporate Social Responsibility: Analysis and a Proposition Regarding the CSR Agenda," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(4), pages 417-428, June.
    7. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    8. David Barker, 2008. "Ethics and Lobbying: The Case of Real Estate Brokerage," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 80(1), pages 23-35, June.
    9. John M. de Figueiredo & James J. Kim, 2004. "When do firms hire lobbyists? The organization of lobbying at the Federal Communications Commission," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(6), pages 883-900, December.
    10. Aldo Levy & Madina Rival, 2010. "Des formes d'entrepreneuriat dans les associations ? Le cas des associations du secteur médicosocial sous tutelle publique," Post-Print halshs-00593983, HAL.
    11. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    12. de Figueiredo, John & Kim, James, 2004. "When Do Firms Hire Lobbyists? The Organization of Lobbying at the Federal Communications Commission," Working papers 4483-04, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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