Hart, David. "Red and White and Blue All Over: The Political Development of IBM." KSG Faculty Research Working Papers Series RWP01-003, January 2001.


This paper analyzes variation over time in the issue agenda, policy positions, and political behavior of the IBM Corporation. It draws on, integrates, and contributes to rational choice, organization, and environmental theories of the firm as a political actor in doing so. The empirical portions of the text draw on original interviews, archival documents, and the public record. They describe a transition from personalistic to formal representation in the 1970s; two decades of growth, increasing sophistication, and inertia; and a crisis and scaling back to a more stereotypically rational approach in the 1990s. The conclusion stresses the value of combining multiple theoretical approaches in the study of business and politics.