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Explaining Corporate Litigation Activity in an Integrated Framework of Interest Mobilization


  • Unah Isaac

    (University of North Carolina)


Although the pluralist theory of politics predicts that the focus of organizational activity should shift to the judicial arena whenever the expectations of government as regulator and the demands of regulated interests fail to converge, there has been little systematic research focusing on the question of business litigation as a specific form of interest mobilization. This article develops an integrated organizational choice model of interest mobilization to explain corporate litigation against the United States government. I argue that a companys decision to proceed with litigation is predicated upon the companys (1) resource capacity, (2) constraints of the regulatory environment, and (3) perception of procedural unfairness of the government in the administrative process. The argument is tested with data from a survey of top U.S. business executives whose companies unsuccessfully petitioned the government for administered protection between 1990 and 1995. The argument receives strong empirical support, and suggests that U.S. corporations facing import competition consider litigation an important component of their overall political strategy for obtaining nonmarket benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Unah Isaac, 2003. "Explaining Corporate Litigation Activity in an Integrated Framework of Interest Mobilization," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:5:y:2003:i:1:n:4

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