Essay Sample Dedicated to Senior Executives' Role in Politics

Published: 2022-07-25
Essay Sample Dedicated to Senior Executives' Role in Politics
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Politics Business management
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1797 words
15 min read

In the last decades, many business organizations started engaging in activities that would have been traditionally regarded as those only performed by the government. The new approach has been so much evident among multinational corporations who continuously take part in public health, education, protection of human rights, social securities, and now even politics. Today, businesses are perceived as a significant force that can bring about environmental and social changes affecting the community. The concept is identified as a corporate social responsibility which entails various philanthropic programs aimed at benefiting the society while boosting the company's brand. The approach continues to face support against and for it, questioning whether it is valid for senior activities to participate in certain activities like politics. The roles of the CEOs are becoming intricate as they incessantly face public scrutiny on their positions regarding political issues, such as whether they will support certain political ideas or if they will alienate themselves from the same ideas. Nonetheless, senior executives must and should play a significant role in public policies by participating in politics, as this will aid in solving social problems.

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Senior Executives' Role in Politics

Politics, in general, has often been associated with the concern the common good, with the goal of always promoting social order. However, on the same idea, politics has been the reason why there are social rifts within the community, especially when it is around the election years in any country. According to Scherer, Palazzo, and Matten (2014), politics is a platform for open and public debate where the citizens express their opinions to arrive at a joint solution on a matter of public concern. Politics deal with a large population, and it shapes the way people work together within a society. However, in every political region, there are cases where the majority in the public are against the ideas and policies promoted by the government, and as a result, they decide to stand against such entities. The role of any political leader is to act on the behalf of the public and for the public. The role entails coordinating the interests of the people while promoting an equal share of the available resources (Frynas & Stephens, 2014). Such activities play a crucial role in the public as they shape the opinion of the people towards an entity, and the political individual as well. Politicians and people participating in politics must always associate themselves with the right ideas and listen to the ideas and views of the public to address their concerns.

Corporate social responsibility is the backbone of many businesses today because of the growing pressure from civil society actors. As a result, there is currently a relationship between business organizations, the state, and the individuals significantly affected by the given responsibility (Scherer & Palazzo, 2011). The main idea behind corporate social responsibility is the economic approach, as organization's executives often believe that it is by helping the community that they are able to attain competitive advantage within the market (Michaels & Gruning, 2018). It means that a company executive must participate in corporate social responsibility and that they must possess wisdom and knowledge that will influence their decision-making skills. Doing this appropriately increases and maximizes shareholder value, which is beneficial to the business operations. Trong Tuan (2012) highlighted that employees enjoy working for companies that have a good public image, and that is always in the media for positive reasons. Motta (2017) also added that proper corporate social responsibility attracts and retains investors hence affecting the company's market value. It is thus integral to be aware of how the senior executives of organizations are viewed by the people, as this will determine the relationship between the company's success and the stakeholders.

The main reason why senior executives should participate in political issues is that it is an investment decision. There is an overlap between the corporate and political spheres, and the two realms continue growing closer and closer. Political involvement is currently considered as part of the corporate social responsibility, and this has seen many business senior executives participating in political activities. The political role of a corporation is often in the hands of the senior activities who support certain political decisions through funding and advertisement. As a result, it helps the public identify the relationship between the organization and the political ideas or parties. Corporate political activities like lobbying utilize corporate social responsibility in advancing corporate social responsibility. Lux, Crook, and Woehr (2011) corporate political activities are components of business nonmarket strategies which is a firm's effort in managing the institutional and societal contexts of the economic competition. It points to the idea that the CEOs are not only confined within the realms of economic benefits, but also nonmarket strategies as these also influence the extent to which business organizations gain and maintain the economic advantage. Many firms allocate their resource to political activities if they view it as a way of generating better returns than investing in other activities. The senior activities participating in political events is a form of indirect marketing because by creating an alliance with political bodies, the firm has the opportunity to attract investors who associate themselves with political ideas or parties (Huang & Zhao, 2016). Richter (2011) added that corporate political activity acts as investing in certain strategies like branding or positioning, which can be attractive if the benefits from the political relationship outweigh the costs. Therefore, senior executives' involvement in political activities is often a strategic decision, and the CEOs should support certain political policies and parties if these will add more investors to the company's portfolio.

Senior executives' participation in political activities is often is often aligned with the objectives of the company. In a study by Chin, Hambrick and Trevino (2013) carried to understand the influence of the CEOs' values on corporate social responsibility and involvement in politics, it was found that many CEOs support of political ideologies are manifested in the businesses' action and priorities. Jiraporn and Chintrakarn (2013) added that the CEOs only make decisions on behalf of the public and the company, and thus are never autonomous individuals. The idea highlights the fact that any decision made by the senior executive never emanates from personal interest but instead, all the ideas address what is good for the company. This concept aligns with the agency theory of management. Kingston and Weng (2014) explained that agency theory is a hypothesis that helps in understanding the relationship between the managers and stakeholders and that managers at all times should make decisions that align with the objective of maximizing the stakeholder's wealth. Participation of the CEOs in politics is thus normally for the benefits of the shareholders, and sometimes it might be against the personal interests of the senior executives. The stakeholders, in this case, are the general public and the owners of the business. Creating a relationship with the political entities would create chances for the business such as getting the support of the political leaders when venturing into a new political region, or even influence the creation of business-friendly policies. Any decision to participate in the political activities should have a solid reasoning on how the company will benefit from the affiliation. It is hence essential that organization's senior executives take part in political activities to accrue political benefits and strength that will boost the organization's operation.

However, the common counterargument is that corporate influence should not be used in politics as this shows can ruin the reputation of the government if the political policies do not impress the general public. Werner (2017) argued that politics often seek to divide rather than bring together the general public, and the dangers of involving the business in this is that it will lose the trust of people who were against the supported political policy. Indeed, this provides a risk that can be disastrous since the public will often associate the political party with the business, and in the case where the political party behaves wrongly, then the business' name also will go down with the affiliated political party. However, Lawton, McGuire, and Rajwani (2013) indicated that organizations participate in corporate political activities as a way of creating or maintaining corporate profits. As it has already been established, the company's executives make decisions on behalf of the business, and stakeholders. Therefore, before a CEO decides to announce he or her association a political group, he or she must clearly understand the consequences of this action and assess whether it is for personal gain or an act of corporate social responsibility. Lock and Steele (2017) explained that the main reason why corporates venture into the political realm is to resolve economic and social issues that affect the public and threatens the organization as well. Jain, Sharma, Canboy, and Rehbein (2018) also added that it is the role of a senior executive to influence the political aspect of the social environment because many policies instituted by the politicians affect the market in which the business operates. Politics affect the market (consumers), and this directly affects the business' success, and thus the CEOs should incessantly assess the political parties, and that which they promise to offer the public, and then create a relationship with a political group that will benefit the public and the organization at the same time.


The new idea of business senior executives taking part in politics continues to face criticism because it is believed that it a decision that can tarnish the image of the business. However, senior executives participating and supporting politics is a crucial strategy that determines the success of a business. Knowing the fact that politics affect the business environment, it is only reasonable that the CEOs also play a role in the direction of political policies and views. However, this must be done cautiously to ensure that the strategy aligns with corporate social responsibilities of a business entity. Therefore, it is crucial that senior executives contribute to corporate political activities as a way of promoting the safety of the general public, and gaining along with sustaining the economic benefits of the company.


Chin, M., Hambrick, D., & Trevino, L. (2013). Political Ideologies of CEOs: The Influence of Executives' Values on Corporate Social Responsibility. Administrative Science Quarterly, 58(2), 197-232. doi: 10.1177/0001839213486984

Frynas, J., & Stephens, S. (2014). Political Corporate Social Responsibility: Reviewing Theories and Setting New Agendas. International Journal Of Management Reviews, 17(4), 483-509. doi: 10.1111/ijmr.12049

Huang, H., & Zhao, Z. (2016). The influence of political connection on corporate social responsibility-evidence from Listed private companies in China. International Journal Of Corporate Social Responsibility, 1(1). doi: 10.1186/s40991-016-0007-3

Jain, T., Sharma, K., Canboy, B., & Rehbein, K. (2018). A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? Corporate Social Responsibility as Corporate Political Activity. Academy Of Manag...

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