Nonmarket Autonomy: Combining Private and Collective Approaches to Corporate Political Activity
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By pursuing private and collective political action in the nonmarket environment, businesses attempt to influence public policy that shapes their operating environment. This dissertation considers how a firm’s market-based experience and its accumulation of political resources affect how the firm combines private and collective political tactics. Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm (RBV) I investigate how a firm’s alliance experience, political resources and prior collective political experience influence the autonomy of its Corporate Political Activity (CPA). I use fixed effects GLS regression with clustered standard errors to test my model on a panel of 21,329 firm/year observations of 2,779 U.S. property casualty insurance companies over the ten-year period between 2005 and 2014. I find support for the influence of state-level political resources, equity alliances, and the interaction of prior collective CPA experience with regulatory complexity and learning capacity on autonomy. My findings contribute to the growing literature connecting market and non-market strategies by linking collaboration in the political arena to the related market activity of alliance experience. Findings also contribute to our understanding of how participation in a collective provides opportunities for learning, and reveals that taking advantage of this opportunity depends on a firm’s learning capacity and the complexity of its regulatory environment. These findings add insight to the literatures on CPA, inter-organizational learning, collective action and trade associations.