MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Corporate Money in Politics Faces a Reckoning

  • 4m
  • Andrew Winston
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2021

After the attempted coup and attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, many companies quickly made a rare move: They cut donations to politicians. Dozens of multinationals started by pausing all political donations. A subset — the more courageous and honest companies — have declared that they will not give any money to the 147 U.S. congressional representatives and senators who voted to overturn the normally ceremonial Electoral College vote count.

Starting with Blue Cross, Dow, Marriott, and a few other first movers, the growing list now includes Airbnb, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Cisco, Citi, Comcast, Disney, Exelon, GE, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Kraft Heinz, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Oracle, Pfizer, State Street, Walmart, and Verizon. In other words, this is not the usual tiny list of progressive companies like Patagonia that put pressure on governments to pass more aggressive environmental laws. This is something new. And it is no small monetary issue — companies have given at least $170 million to those 147 legislators over the past four years.

About the Author

Andrew Winston (@andrewwinston) is a globally recognized expert on how to build resilient, profitable companies that help people and planet thrive. Named to Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2020 as a “thinker to watch,” he is the author of the bestsellers Green to Gold (Yale University Press, 2006) and The Big Pivot (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014). Andrew’s latest book, due out in fall 2021, is Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take (Harvard Business Review Press).

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Corporate Money in Politics Faces a Reckoning