Does Corporate Lobbying Benefit Society?

Rami Kaplan, David L. Levy, Kathleen Rehbein, Brian Kelleher Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lobbying, defined as an effort to influence policy through strategic communication, has grown dramatically in recent years. This paper presents three viewpoints regarding the societal impact of corporate lobbying on society: one perspective argues that lobbying will be primarily beneficial, an alternative perspective contests this viewpoint and suggests that it is generally harmful, and the third argues that the impact is contingent on a number of factors. Proponents of lobbying argue that it is a vital mechanism to transmit valuable information and expertise to policymakers, leading to substantive legislative solutions for resolving complex societal issues. Critics, on the other hand, point out that business dominates lobbying and can leverage vast resources to push biased information in the pursuit of narrow profit-oriented interests. There are three key axes of contention between these three perspectives; first, concerning the definition of lobbying and its relation to corporate power; second, its relationship to democratic processes; and third, regarding alignment or conflict between societal and business interests. The paper examines these issues and draws implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-192
Number of pages27
JournalRutgers Business Review
Volume7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

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