Corporate Political Strategies in Weak Institutional Environments: A Break from Conventions

Tahiru Liedong, Daniel Aghanya, Tazeeb Rajwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


There is a lack of research about the political strategies used by firms in emerging countries, mainly because the literature often assumes that Western-oriented corporate political activity (CPA) has universal application. Drawing on resource dependency logics, we explore why and how firms orchestrate CPA in the institutionally challenging context of Nigeria. Our findings show that firms deploy four context-fitting but ethically suspect political strategies: affective, financial, pseudo-attribution and kinship strategies. We leverage this understanding to contribute to CPA in emerging countries by arguing that corporate political strategies are shaped by the reciprocity and duality of dependency relationships between firms and politicians, and also by advancing that these strategies reflect institutional weaknesses and unique industry-level opportunities. Importantly, we shed light on the muttered dark side of CPA. We develop a CPA framework and discuss the research, practical and policy implications of our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-876
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Corporate political activity (CPA)
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Resource dependency
  • Ethics
  • Nigeria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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