Corporate environmental performance and lobbying

M. Delmas, J. Lim, N. Nairn-Birch

Between 2006 and 2009, firms spent over a billion dollars lobbying on climate-related bills and issues. Such spending is largely perceived as a strategy by industry to oppose
regulation. Research has barely begun to investigate how firm-level performance on salient political issues affects corporate political strategy. In this article, we address this issue in the context of the recent climate change policy debate in the United States. We propose a U-shaped relationship between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and lobbying expenditures. To test our proposition, our study leverages novel data on firm-level GHG emissions and lobbying expenses aimed specifically at climate change legislation. Our results, based on 1,141 firms from 2006 to 2009, suggest that both dirty and clean firms are active in lobbying, which challenges the view of adversarial corporate strategy.

Published Work | 2016 | Academy of Management Discoveries

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