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The internal limits to firms' nonmarket activities

Bonardi, Jean-Philippe (2008): The internal limits to firms' nonmarket activities.


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It is well documented that firms develop nonmarket strategies in an effort to shape public policy changes to their advantage. But are there no limits to this? This paper argues that there is, in fact, an important limitation, internal to the firm, that stems from the necessity for firms to integrate market and nonmarket activities. Because the two types of activities are not always complements but sometimes substitutes, firms end up forgoing part of their nonmarket activities to avoid restricting the development of their market strategies. This argument is tested in the context of the European telecommunications industry. Results suggest that there is reasonable ground for optimism regarding the potentially negative influence that firms’ nonmarket activities might play in a democracy.

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