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


  • R. W. Major

    (CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)

  • Madina Rival

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


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.

Suggested Citation

  • R. W. Major & Madina Rival, 2012. "From informal practices to formal conduct: Which ethical practices and issues for French lobbying consulting?," Working Papers halshs-00709380, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00709380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Ethics; lobbying; management consulting;

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