Edward Walker, University of Vermont

Lecture title:

Corporate Activism as a Response to Societal Contention


Edward Walker, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Vermont and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research, University of Michigan

Speaker(s) Web Pages:

Semester: Winter 2011

Date: Friday, February 4, 2011

Time: 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Venue: Room K1310, Ross School of Business

Additional Notes:

Introducer: Johan Chu, Management & Organizations


How do major corporations respond when faced with citizen protest and public controversies? Following from neo-institutionalist perspectives on organizations, scholars of corporate-targeted contention have emphasized isomorphic responses such as environmental or labor certification, civic partnerships, corporate philanthropy, and other Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. However, under challenging circumstances, certain corporations will instead make strategic efforts to reshape their institutional environments by mobilizing grassroots citizen participation of their own. Using a unique and original data source based on the client lists of all major "grassroots lobbying" firms in the U.S., this study is the first to investigate how protest, public controversies, and corporate reputations shape Fortune 500 firms' propensity to mobilize popular activism in the public sphere.

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Lecture recording: Flash | iPod

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