Politics makes strange bedfellows [electronic resource] : why political and industrial diversity helps contract lobby organizations retain clients and make money
- Sasha Goodman.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
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- ["Many studies examine why organizations are shaped by their institutional environment, but few seek to understand the process of organizations attempting to influence the government. This dissertation focuses on an industry dedicated to influencing elite members of the nation-state: contract lobby organizations. These companies serve clients by monitoring government for threats and opportunities, and then promoting or countering changes to the status quo. They do so through coalitions of politically and industrially affiliated lobbyists who engage with policymakers directly. There are two basic approaches to employing lobbyists. One is to specialize by having only one type (for example, only Republicans who specialize in the defense industry). The other is to generalize by having a team balanced across a diverse set of political and industrial categories. I examine these organizational structures to challenge the broadly held position that specialized organizations perform better relative to the generalists they compete with. Contrary to the common finding, this study reveals that a generalist approach is more useful for lobby organizations in terms of reducing failure and increasing revenue growth. This exception occurs because these organizations must engage a group constrained by a norm prescribing collective agreement. Diverse teams are better positioned to monitor the population as a whole by contacting a broad sample, increasing the validity of identified threats and opportunities. They are in a better position to influence the population of Congress members by recruiting observable champions to their cause who belong to several categories, amplifying the legitimacy of their issue and reducing the appearance of controversy. This mechanism establishes a link between the observed organizational structure and organizational performance."]
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Graduate School of Business.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2011.
- Related Work
- Stanford University. Graduate School of Business Dissertation. 2011.
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