Business as a Collaborative Partner: Understanding Firms' Socio-Political Support for Policy Formation
Public Administration Review, 2016, 76(2): 326-337.
24 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2015 Last revised: 10 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 4, 2015
While many scholars have discussed the merits of collaborative governance, especially for addressing complicated modern policy challenges, the literature has paid less attention to how business can serve as an effective collaborative partner during the formation of mandatory policies and regulations. Drawing on scholarship in the management sciences and combining it with literature in public administration and public policy, we elaborate on four distinct types of business responses to proposed regulations based on degrees of political activity and social responsiveness: defensive, reactive, proactive, and anticipatory. We then characterize the reasons why proactive firms are more likely to be valuable collaborative partners with policy makers and public managers in that their engagement may avoid costly stalemates that frequently hinder policy making, and develop cost-effective, flexible policy approaches to complex social problems.
Keywords: Collaborative governance, Business-government collaboration, Business-government partnership, Policy formation, Social support, Political activity, Socio-political support, Climate change
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