Organizational Responses to Public and Private Politics: An Analysis of Climate Change Activists and U.S. Oil and Gas Firms

50 Pages Posted: 4 May 2015 Last revised: 9 Jun 2015

See all articles by Shon R. Hiatt

Shon R. Hiatt

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Jake Grandy

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Brandon H. Lee

Melbourne Business School

Date Written: May 2, 2015

Abstract

We explore how activists’ public and private politics elicit different organizational responses. Using data on U.S. petroleum companies from 1982-2010, we investigate how climate change activists serving as witnesses at congressional hearings and engaging in firm protests influenced firms’ internal and external responses. We find that public politics induced internally focused practice adoption while private politics induced externally focused framing activities. We also find that private and public politics had an interaction effect: as firms faced more private political pressure, they were less likely to respond to public political pressures; likewise, as firms faced greater public political pressure, they were less likely to respond to private political pressures. The results suggest that activists can have a significant impact on firm behavior depending on the mix of private and public political tactics they engage in. We discuss the implications of our study for social movement research, organization theory, and nonmarket strategy.

Keywords: private and public politics, social movements, organization theory, environmental sustainability, technology entrepreneurship

Suggested Citation

Hiatt, Shon R. and Grandy, Jake and Lee, Brandon H., Organizational Responses to Public and Private Politics: An Analysis of Climate Change Activists and U.S. Oil and Gas Firms (May 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2601797 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2601797

Shon R. Hiatt (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Jake Grandy

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Brandon H. Lee

Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

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