Commercial challenges to American business

The political challenges and setbacks of the 1970s coincided with increased commercial challenges to American business. The dominance of American manufacturing, so complete in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, was eroded by the increasing success of competitors from Europe, Japan, and the successful industrializing countries such as the Four Tigers (Hong Kong, […]

Modes of Political Participation

Writers in the late 1950s and early 1960s were struck by the limited development of business organizations in the USA. The groups claiming to speak for the general interests of business were notoriously weak. Both the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) were regarded as highly ideological associations with little to […]

Defending Business Interests: A Multi-Pronged Approach

The modern American corporation is likely to follow a variety of approaches in defending its interests. The approach used will depend partly on the nature of the issue, but will also often involve several complementary strategies which can be used simultaneously. The wise corporation will try to create a favourable attitude and willingness to listen […]

The American business and political problems

It may seem, on the basis of the facts we have covered so far, that the American business executive has no political problems. Such, in reality, would not be the case. Although the basic features of capitalism are not contested in the USA, there has been at least as much (and possibly more) criticism of […]

Support for a Capitalist Market System

Whenever trouble threatens the world, the American dollar strengthens against other currencies. The strength of the dollar reflects the belief amongst investors that the USA is the country in which capitalism is safest. Such interpretations of the strength of business in the USA are common. The comment attributed to Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defence that `what […]

Special challenge to European business

The plans for the creation of a truly common market within the European Community in 1992 have posed a special challenge to European business and businesses elsewhere which wish to operate in the giant European market. Some of these challenges are commercial. As the advocates of a truly common market after 1992 intended, the abolition […]

Most important challenges facing business

One of the most important challenges facing business in many western democracies in the late 1980s came from environmentalists. As well as functioning as interest groups, environmentalists had formed their own political movement, the Greens, in many European countries. The Green parties enjoyed surprising success for what had seemed in the late 1970s to be […]

Enemies of Business

A full consideration of the role of any interest in society should consider not only the characteristics of that interest, but also the attitudes and strength of its potential enemies. As we have stressed above, the character of business organizations can be profoundly affected by the degree to which business executives perceive that common interests […]

Purpose of Business—Government Relations

It is very easy to assume the universality of what is in fact a particularly Anglo-American perspective on business—govern-ment relations. That is to assume that government and business are involved in a necessarily adversarial relationship. The major political task for business is to limit government policies such as company taxation or regulations which cost business […]