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Keywords:

  • public affairs;
  • government affairs;
  • issues management;
  • political strategy

Abstract

This essay reviews the primary methods that have been used to study corporate public affairs, issues management, and corporate political activity (PA/IM/CPA). We identify three tractable areas of research in these areas: (1) the determinants of PAM/IM/CPA; (2) the effects of PAM/IM/CPA on public policy outcomes; and (3) the effects of public policy outcomes on overall firm financial performance. Despite the considerable difficulties in gathering data to test these phenomena, we posit that scholars have made progress in understanding some aspects of these relationships. Still, we conclude that the greatest weakness for the advancement of methodological progress is the lack of a theoretical model describing the PAM/IM/CPA process, which ultimately hinders the ability of empiricists to seek the ‘proper’ data to test such relationships. Copyright © 2001 Henry Stewart Publications