Question: Critically discuss and identify the influence power, politics and control have on the management of performance?
Corporate public policy activity is a broad set of actions with the overall purpose of ensuring that a company's views are listened to within government and other areas of policy debate and development. The aim is to ensure that the legislative, regulatory, and often judiciary framework protects and promotes their business, or at least does not damage it. Companies typically strive to identify potentially problematic issues as they begin to emerge, intervene with decision-makers at an early stage, set the agenda and shape policy as it is formulated. Reputation building this is the first part of 'making friends and influencing people'. It is about getting to know the people who matter and making sure they know a company and have a positive impression of it. Companies that do not have a good reputation within government find it harder to get their voice heard when an issue arises - the time to start is years before an issue comes to a head. Indeed companies will aim to prevent an issue arising rather than seek to defeat a proposal once it has been formulated. Companies use Political Contact Programmes to manage relationships with Ministers, advisers, other politicians and civil servants. These programmes can also help to build alliances and engage with relevant pressure groups, think-tanks and trade unions. The aim is above all to establish close contacts. Secondments from companies to government and vice versa - the revolving door - can help companies and government to get to know each other better, but they raise fears of undue influence and may damage officials' perceived impartiality. Meeting and greeting people with influence is essential to building and maintaining a presence. Lukensmeyer, C. and Torres, L. 2006, Public Deliberation: A manager's guide to citizen engagement, IBM Centre for the Business of Government,
It is often done, for example, by sponsoring meetings and receptions in London, Brussels and other centres of government, at political gatherings and conferences. While traditionally such meetings have focused on developing relationships between policy-makers and corporations, increasingly other stakeholders such as public interest groups are also being involved - a critical feature in attempts at developing longer-term and more meaningful partnerships between companies and their stakeholders. Sponsoring research and funding thinktanks also helps to produce material that may be useful to politicians and opinion-formers. Where carried out with rigour - and where the sponsorship is non-partisan - such work can add some gravitas to a company's views. The UK government, and in particular 'New Labour', are very keen to use their favourite think-tanks as idea breeding grounds.
One of the most important uses of think-tanks for government is as a type of front for 'out of the box' thinking. Many of the past political ideology reforms have been initiated in thinktanks as a safe place for politicos to test out-of-party ideological ...