Business Organization: the Engagement with Political Stakeholders

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The world is still feeling the after-effects of the global financial meltdown. As a weak economy struggles to get back on its feet, items that were once at the forefront of the legislative agenda have been shelved to deal with issues such as joblessness and business failures.

In this challenging environment, corporate political participation has taken on renewed importance. Spending remains a permanent part of the political landscape. Business advocating for its interests is an important part of maintaining the balance of power needed in a pluralistic society. To maintain a true balance of power, however, businesses must advocate in a way that is both ethical and legal. The business has a duty to temper the freedom it has with responsibility, accountability, and transparency (Carroll, Brown, Buchholtz 2017:372-389).

Companies have various major ways to seek to influence government action—lobbying and corporate spending. However, there are different other ways for corporations to take political action. One should keep in mind that politically active firms are inclined to combine various strategies. Such making political contributions, set up their own lobbyists in government offices, contract with outside lobbyists to represent their interests and join like-minded organizations to push for change through trade associations and coalitions. Corporate political spending and lobbying are not separate strategies; they are part of an overall approach.

Carroll, Brown, and Buchholtz (2017) explain that political activity can tend to be controversial with the public. Business often may receive criticism for using and abusing its power with the influence they hold with political stakeholders to push their own agenda and not looking out for the interest of the community that supports them. As new excesses develop, new regulations and rulings come to address the problems they present. In the meantime, responsible businesses are focused on determining how they can pursue an ethical approach to political participation. This is the ongoing “back and forth” that characterizes the political process.

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A strong public affairs strategy enables associations or stakeholders to build effective relationships and provides greater opportunities for long-lasting success. Strategic communications could be a key portion, is as well critical to be cleared out to the communications group alone, or to be designated upwards from a press office that expects the chief official or other senior pioneers to hold the key political and influencer connections. When corporate public affairs strategies are well planned, prepared and constantly evaluated, there will no need for organisation to resolve to corruption and fraud to engage with political stakeholders.

This is a strong base for stakeholder engagement if organisation does not engage with stakeholders and maintain the relationships, and public affairs activity will be fragile and weakened for a time. The corporate political strategy and its business influence must have limits set. If the role is increased more than the set limits, it has long term effects on business which cannot be easily seen. Businesses should interact with the government as they play a strong role in formulating public policies.

Corporate political strategy is the strategy that enterprises employ to influence the formulation and implementation process of government policy and regulation to create a favourable external environment for their business activities. However, a business organization should engage with political stakeholders in a way that is ethical and legal. Corruption should not be used to push the agenda of the organisation as this will considered as illegal and unethical (Carroll, Brown, Buchholtz 2017:354-60).

Firms must not abuse their power as a strategy for political corporate affairs. According to Carroll, Brown, et al (2017)' Society would be best served if the system maintained a balance of power'. Firms need to keep in mind that power comes with the duty to use it correctly, and so a business firm needs to be mindful in its approach to influence policymakers. Business needs to direct the political activities thoughtfully, taking care to understand the depth and severity of corporate political activity's consequences, for society as well as for business. This qualifies as enlightened self-interest. Because business, too, needs a healthy and balanced society to thrive (Carroll, Brown, Buchholtz 2017:366-389).

In essence, success in the political area is equal to it in the market, and political strategies have been the substance for enterprises' success, which is why enterprises have to convey competitive strategies to gain success. Corporate social responsibility also plays a big role in social development, but businesses must stop at a point where the involvement is crossing the limits of business interactions. When things are going more on the political front, and interaction left is of only political use.

Though many strategies could lead to a firms good performance, firms have to be ready to be back to the market and face the market competition. That is why firms implement political strategies to outline a good situation for their market strategy and strengthen the organisation competitive position in a particular industry.

Firms utilize the different strategies of political techniques to access and approach stakeholders. When considering putting in place a public affairs strategy, the starting point is clarity around the goal, objectives the organisation is trying to achieve. 

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