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Administrative Science Quarterlyhttp://asq.sagepub.com/From Pabst to Pepsi: The Deinstitutionalization of Social Practices and the Creation of EntrepreneurialOpportunitiesShon R. Hiatt, Wesley D. Sine and Pamela S. TolbertAdministrative Science Quarterly 2009 54: 635DOI: 10.2189/asqu.2009.54.4.635The online version of this article can be found at:http://asq.sagepub.com/content/54/4/635Published by:http://www.sagepublications.comOn behalf of:Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell UniversityAdditional services and information for Administrative Science Quarterly can be found at:Email Alerts: http://asq.sagepub.com/cgi/alertsSubscriptions: http://asq.sagepub.com/subscriptionsReprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.navPermissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.navCitations: http://asq.sagepub.com/content/54/4/635.refs.html>> Version of Record – Dec 1, 2009What is This?Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012In this paper, we examine the dual role that socialmovement organizations can play in altering organizational landscapes by undermining existing organizationsand creating opportunities for the growth of new types oforganizations. Empirically, we investigate the impact of avariety of tactics employed by the Womans ChristianTemperance Union (WCTU), the leading organizationalrepresentative of the American temperance movement,on two sets of organizations: breweries and soft drinkproducers. By delegitimating alcohol consumption,altering attitudes and beliefs about drinking, andpromoting temperance legislation, the WCTU contributedto brewery failures. These social changes, in turn, createdopportunities for entrepreneurs to found organizationsproducing new kinds of beverages by creating demandfor alternative beverages, providing rationales forentrepreneurial action, and increasing the availability ofnecessary resources.From Pabstto Pepsi: TheDeinstitutionalization ofSocial Practicesand the Creation ofEntrepreneurialOpportunitiesShon R. HiattCornell UniversityWesley D. SineCornell UniversityPamela S. TolbertCornell UniversityOne of the foundational tenets of institutional theory is that inorder to prosper, organizations must be congruent with theirinstitutional environment (Meyer and Rowan, 1977; Meyer andScott, 1983), their structures and services aligned with thecultural-cognitive belief systems and regulatory and normativestructures that prevail in a given organizational community(Baum and Rao, 2004: 51). Such alignment promotes thesuccess and survival of organizations by increasing thecommitment of internal and external constituents toorganizations and their activities, allowing them to obtainnecessary resources (Stinchcombe, 1965; Meyer and Rowan,1977). By extension, the viability of organizational populationsalso depends on the extent to which the structures andactivities that dene the population are in line with thedemands and expectations of the institutional environment(Hunt and Aldrich, 1998; Lee and Pennings, 2002).© 2009 by Johnson Graduate School,Cornell University.0001-8392/09/5404-0635/$3.00.We thank Peter Roberts, Brandon Lee,David Strang, William Sonnenstuhl,Elizabeth Hiatt, ASQ associate editor JerryDavis, Linda Johanson, and threeanonymous reviewers for their comments. We also thank seminar participants at Cornell, the University of Illinoisat UrbanaChampaign, the University ofCalifornia at Los Angeles, and ErasmusUniversity for their helpful criticism ofearlier versions of this paper. We acknowledge nancial support from the JohnsonGraduate School of Management, the J.Thomas Clark Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise, INCAE,and the Cornell School of Industrial andLabor Relations. Finally, appreciation goesto the rst-authors great grandfather,C. B. Rutherford, whose pioneering workin the U.S. soft drink industry inspiredthis stud y.It is easy to focus on the conceptual machineries ofinstitutions (Kraatz and Zajac, 1996; Hinings and Tolbert, 2008)and forget that denitions of reality, of how things should bedone, have their foundations in the actions of individuals andgroups (Berger and Luckmann, 1966; Leblebici et al., 1991;Kennedy and Fiss, 2009). Historically, social movementorganizations have played a critical role in reshaping suchdenitions (Turner and Killian, 1987), producing some of themost signicant cultural changes in the nineteenth andtwentieth centuries, including the abolition of slavery, theextension of voting and other political rights to women, formalelimination of racial segregation, and the creation ofprotective legislation for the environment (McAdam andScott, 2005). Research suggests that most of the enduringconsequences of social movement organizations arisethrough their effects on organizations, either by changingpolicies and practices of extant organizations (Davis andThompson, 1994; Wade, Swaminathan, and Saxon, 1998;Haveman, Rao, and Paruchuri, 2007) or by giving rise to newforms of organization (Haveman and Rao, 1997; Lounsbury,Ventresca, and Hirsch, 2003; Schneiberg, King, and Smith,2008; Swaminathan and Wade, 2001; Rao, 2009). Forexample, Tolbert and Zucker (1983) showed how Progressive635/Administrative Science Quarterly, 54 (2009): 635667Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012reform organizations contributed to the diffusion of civilservice procedures that signicantly changed municipalgovernments, while Sine and Lee (2009) documented theimpact of environmental movement organizations on thefounding of new forms of power-producing organizations.Other recent studies have also considered how broad,large-scale social movements can facilitate the emergence ofnew sectors and organizational forms. Schneiberg (2002)linked social movement activity to the formation of new formsof insurance companies; Haveman, Rao, and Paruchuri (2007)demonstrated the effects of Progressive-era movementorganizations on the emergence of new types of thriftorganizations; and Lee (2009) examined the effects of theorganic food movement on the rise of alternative forms offood production. But quantitative research in this area hasoften relied on proxies of general social movement effects(Haveman and Rao, 1997; Schneiberg, King, and Smith, 2008)and has not fully considered how the different tactics socialmovements use can destabilize extant sets of organizations,unintentionally support the founding of new types oforganizations, and thus shape inter-population dynamics. Littleresearch has directly linked particular social movementactivities to changes in the institutional environment and toorganizational outcomes, including the decline of existingorganizational forms, the spread of new forms, and relationsbetween new and old forms.To understand the effects of social movement organizationsactivities, it is useful to examine them in relation to the threeconceptually distinct dimensions of the institutionalenvironmentnormative, cognitive, and regulative (Scott,2001). The normative dimension refers to explicit espousalsof particular organizational practices, structures, and forms byindividual or collective actors who have recognized expertiseor credibility (Meyer and Rowan, 1977; Scott and Davis, 2007;Sine, David, and Mitsuhashi, 2007). Most studies examiningthis dimension have focused on established actors, such asprofessional or industry associations, that provide credentialsor endorsements of specic organizational arrangements (e.g.,Baum and Oliver, 1991; Scott et al., 2000; Sine, Haveman,and Tolbert, 2005; see also Marquis and Lounsbury, 2007).But social movements can also be normatively powerfuladvocates. For example, movements for corporate socialresponsibility have encouraged investors to boycottcompanies (King, 2008), lowered investors condence inpublic corporations (King and Soule, 2007), and persuadedconsumers to purchase wood from companies that useenvironmentally sound foresting methods (Bartley, 2007).The cognitive dimension of the institutional environmentinvolves taken-for-granted assumptions of the utility and thusthe appropriateness of organizational practices or forms(Berger and Luckmann, 1966; Meyer and Rowan, 1977;Aldrich and Fiol, 1994; Tolbert and Zucker, 1996). As Suchman(1995: 581) noted, this dimension is the most subtle andpowerful inuence on organizations. Social movements maytry to inuence this dimension through teach-ins or othersimilar activities; these are particularly common amongstudent movements (Soule, 1997; Rojas, 2006). But because636/ASQ, December 2009Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012From Pabst to Pepsichanging this dimension involves inuencing deep-rooted andoften non-conscious beliefsbringing about such change isusually a slow and intensive processsocial movementorganizations typically focus their efforts on changing thenormative and regulative dimensions.The regulative dimension entails rule setting, monitoring,and sanctioning activities by powerful actors, such as thestate, that have the ability to dene certain organizationalpractices and forms as acceptable and to enforce thosedenitions, often by constraining organizational resources(Scott, 1995: 35). This dimension is often the immediatetarget of social movement organizations (McCarthy and Zald,1977; Clemens, 1993; McAdam and Scott, 2005; Lee, 2009),perhaps in part because it can provide a foundation forchanges in the other dimensions (Edelman, 1990; Schneiberg,2002; Haveman, Rao, and Paruchuri, 2007), but theorganizational consequences of regulatory changes are notalways anticipated. For example, Perrata (2007) showed thatanti-discrimination legislation, by promoting the value ofgender equality, led to a sharp decline in both womens andmens colleges, though the womens movement oftensupported the former.Thus social movement organizations can change the cognitive,normative and regulative environments of organizations inseveral ways: by constructing and propagating shared beliefsthat make some structures and behaviors acceptable andothers unthinkable (Snow et al., 1986; Klandermans, 1997); bypersuading public gures to endorse and promote thesestructures and behaviors (Turner and Killian, 1987); and byadvocating for the passage of laws and regulations thatpromote new values and penalize activities in conict withthem (Zald, Morrill, and Rao, 2005). Any of these activities canhave intended and unintended effects.1The historical description below drawson the Minutes of the Convention of theNational Womans Christian TemperanceUnion, 18741920 (Chicago: WomansTemperance Publication Association), theTransactions of the American MedicalAssociation, 18691882 (Philadelphia:Times Printing House), and the Journal ofthe American Medical AssociationsProceedings of the House of Delegates,18831920.In this paper, we investigate the intended and unintendedeffects of one social movement organization, the WomansChristian Temperance Union (WCTU), on two organizationalpopulations in the United States, breweries and soft drinkmanufacturers, between 1870 and 1920. During this time theWCTU grew from a small local organization to a major force inboth state and federal politics, becoming arguably the mostpowerful social movement organization in the late 1800s,creating a turbulent environment for alcoholic-beverageproducers (Guseld, 1986). As the WCTU worked to spreadits anti-alcohol agenda, it had a dramatic effect on breweries,an intended target, but also, inadvertently, on soft drinkmanufacturers. Our paper documents the varied meansthrough which the temperance movement of the latenineteenth century, and the WCTU in particular producedchanges in social norms and beliefs about drinking, as well asin laws regulating the production and sale of alcohol, therebydeinstitutionalizing breweries and creating opportunities forentrepreneurs to found organizations producing new kinds ofbeverages as a substitute for beer and other alcoholic drinks.We describe the dramatic growth of the WCTU in the mid1800s and how it challenged one of Americas most acceptedand cherished social activities, the consumption of alcoholicbeverages.1637/ASQ, December 2009Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012DEINSTITUTIONALIZATION OF BREWERIES AND THECREATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIESEuropean settlers brought customs and habits from the OldWorld, including regular consumption of alcohol, itscustomary use in social circumstances, and acceptance of theorganizations that produce it (Jellinek, 1977; Guseld, 1987).When the ship Arabella, carrying the settlers of what wouldbecome the Massachusetts Bay Colony, dropped anchor in1630, its cargo included 10,000 gallons of beer, 120hogsheads of malt for brewing more, and 12 gallons ofdistilled spirits (Blocker, 1989). In addition to being a regularpart of social occasions, alcoholic beverages were also auseful source of calories. Because fermenting enabledAmerican colonists to store fruits and grains in beverage formthroughout the year without spoilage, alcoholic beverageswere also a form of liquid nourishment. Thus both beer andhard cider were commonly drunk at meals, social gatherings,and community events.American societys acceptance of alcoholic beverages wasreected in the social role played by the breweries retail arm,the tavern (or saloon, in the West). These establishmentsbecame highly valued in politics, government, and businessin the nineteenth century. When new towns becameincorporated, the tavern was usually the only public structureand was therefore used as the city hall and courtroom as wellas a place for business transactions (Asbury, 1950). Tavernsserved as very important settings for campaigning and lobbyingas well. Political candidates and politicians frequented them,and elections were often won or lost with the free distributionof alcohol (Tyrrell, 1979). Political machines relied so heavily ontaverns to keep constituents loyal to the party that in manycities it was said that the most direct route to the city councilor the state legislature [often] ran through the barroom(Funderburg, 2002: 90). The growth of establishments sellingbeer and other forms of alcohol ballooned in the latter half ofthe nineteenth century, and in 1909, their number exceededthe total number of libraries, schools, hospitals, parks, theaters,and churches (Cashman, 1981).The brewery industry ourished throughout the nineteenthcentury, peaking at the turn of the century as the fth largestU.S. industry, with almost a billion dollars in sales (Chidsey,1969). Part of the industrys success during this period can beattributed to increases in immigration, especially from Irelandand Germany, which led to a shift in consumers preferencesfrom fermented fruit beverages to those made from cereals(Sechrist, 1986). In 1865, yearly per capita consumption ofbeer totaled a little over three gallons, but by 1900, per capitabeer consumption had increased to sixteen gallons (Blocker,1989).Although breweries and beer were accepted by mostAmericans from the time of the rst European colonies, therewas always a minority who objected to the use of alcohol.One of the rst advocates in the U.S. of temperance wasIncrease Mather, who in 1673 penned the strong sermon,Woe to Drunkards (Mezvinsky, 1959). Widespread,systematic opposition to drinking, though, had its origins in638/ASQ, December 2009Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012From Pabst to Pepsithe religious revivalism of the Second Great Awakening in theearly 1800s. One of the common threads that tied togethervarious expressions of Protestant religious fervor of thisperiod was a belief in the moral perfectability of humans, andexcessive drinking, as a manifestation of moral imperfection,became a target of religious reformers (Szymanski, 2003).Concern with drinking as a social problem was also fueled bythe connection between drinking and immigrant identity.Growing numbers of Irish and eastern European immigrantsstreamed into the U.S. throughout the nineteenth century,feeding nativists hostility. The regular use of alcohol becameemblematic of these new immigrant groups; thus antidrinking sentiment was also driven in part by the broadertensions and conicts associated with the social assimilationof different ethnic groups (Guseld, 1955, 1986). An additionalforce that fed temperance sentiments during this period wasthe growing industrialization of the country, which increaseddemand for a dependable and tractable workforce. Manyemployers supported limits on alcohol use because they wereconcerned that the consumption of alcohol underminedemployees thrift and hard work (Rumbarger, 1989).All of these factors combined by the mid-nineteenth centuryto produce organized efforts to reduce the consumption ofalcohol in the U.S. and several anti-drinking social movementorganizations were founded in the U.S. before the Civil War.Most of these were relatively short-lived, however, as theircause was eclipsed by the more passionate debate overabolition. But because many of the same social conditionsthat fueled antebellum anti-drinking sentiments persistedafter the wartensions surrounding increasing rates ofimmigration, industrialization, concerns with the continuingimprovement of society (as the religiosity of the early 1800smorphed into a more secular form, Progressivism)thetemperance movement began to grow once again in the latenineteenth century. Several social movement organizationsdeveloped to promote the aims of temperance, many ofwhich actively collaborated and had overlappingmemberships, but primary among these was the WomansChristian Temperance Movement.Founding of the WCTUWhat was to become one of the largest and most powerful ofthe anti-drinking social movement organizations was formed in1874 (Mezvinsky, 1959): the Womans Christian TemperanceUnion, or the WCTU. In the spring of that year, threewomenJane Fowler Willing, Emily Huntington Miller, andMartha McClellan Brownjointly issued a call to women atthe National Sunday School Assembly in Chautauqua, NewYork, to attend the rst planned convention of the WomansChristian Temperance Union, aimed at mobilizing activistwomen to campaign for political candidates and legislation thatfavored temperance and womens rights. In November of thesame year, 135 women representing 16 states assembled inCleveland, Ohio, to form the WCTU. Under the seventeen-yearleadership of Frances Willard, who ascended to the presidencyof the WCTU in 1879, the WCTU took aim at a variety of socialproblems, including campaigning for eight-hour work days,universal suffrage, industrial relations education, preschool639/ASQ, December 2009Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012education, prison reform, world peace, equal rights forwomen, and greater penalties for crimes against women. Theprimary focus of the organization, however, was thepromotion of temperance, which was viewed as an underlyingsolution (at least in part) to many of the other problems ofconcern to members (Guseld, 1986).The WCTU grew rapidly under Willards guidance. In 1879,the organization consisted of 1,118 local unions and 26,843members in 24 states; by Willards death at the turn of thecentury, it had grown to roughly 7,067 local unions with168,324 members in 52 states and territoriesa 627 percentincrease, during a period in which the U.S. population grew by198 percent. By 1921, the WCTU had 12,000 local unions with345,949 members in 53 states and territories. Membershiprequired pledging both total abstention and commitment tothe organizations goals. Its success in membership growthwas accompanied by nancial success as well. Its enormoussize and wealth enabled the WCTU to employ a variety oftactics to try to achieve its primary objective, eliminatingalcohol use in American society.WCTU TacticsChanging the normative environment. One of the WCTUskey tactics involved proselytizing temperance values andrecruiting new members with an explicit commitment toabstain from alcohol use and to advocate a similarcommitment among friends and family. To this end, theWCTU promoted countrywide tours by lecturers who soughtto educate the public on the dangers of drinking and thebenets of abstention and who encouraged individuals to jointhe organization. Each member of the WCTU was required topay annual dues to the organization and to take The Pledge.As written on the signed membership cards, individualsswore, I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, toabstain from all distilled, fermented and malt liquors, includingwine, beer and cider; and to employ all proper means todiscourage the use of and trafc in the same [italics added].Many members took this oath very seriously and led activepersonal campaigns against drinking as morally unacceptable.Apart from the individual members evangelizing efforts tochange the values and behaviors of their friends and familymembers, local WCTU chapters used a variety of tactics tocreate a normative environment supporting alcoholabstention. These included holding parades and soap boxoratories denouncing the consumption of alcohol, gathering infront of saloons to sing hymns and to reprimand both patronsand owners, and giving away free ice water and lemonade atbooths at county and state fairswhile simultaneouslyholding protests in front of brewery booths. Their tactics wereloudly decried by opponents who claimed that the WCTUused devices of a Methodist revival: by terrifying and rathercoarsely emotional oratory from pulpit and platform; byparades of women and children drilled for the purpose; by asort of persecution not stopping short of an actual boycott ofprominent citizens inclined to vote wet (United StatesBrewers Association, 1909: 40). But their tactics wereeffective. According to WCTU reports, such campaigns led to640/ASQ, December 2009Downloaded from asq.sagepub.com at UCLA on May 16, 2012From Pabst to Pepsia drop in malt liquor consumption between 1873 and 1875 of5,599,406 gallons and contributed to the failure of 750breweries (WCTU Minutes, 1885).The promotion of temperance norms by individuals and thecollective challenges to organizations that distributed alcoholicbeverages created a hostile normative environment forbreweries. Breweries would have faced particularly hostilenormative environments in states in which there were largerproportions of WCTU members because in general,movements with a larger presence in the localcommunityas indicated by a larger number of adherentswith mobilizable resources and by organized presencearelikely to make more demands on organizations for changethan they are when they have little support in the localcommunity (Zald, Morrill, and Rao, 2005: 259). Thus,Hypothesis 1a: Increases in the proportion of WCTU members in astate will increase brewery failures.Other normative forces may have amplied the effects of theWCTU on brewery failures (Skocpol et al., 1993). The WCTUoften drew authoritative backing for its campaign from anorganization culturally authorized to speak to matters of health,the American Medical Association (AMA). Not only was theAMA highly sympathetic to the temperance causeandbanned alcohol at its annual conventions beginning in 1877but physicians at the time were in direct competition withpharmacists, who often produced folk medicines containinghomemade liquor as an alternative to doctors allopathictreatments (Sinclair, 1962). Contention over prots frommedicines became so erce that in 1917, in response to aletter from the WCTU, the American Medical Association senta resolution to the U.S. Senate stating that alcohols use intherapeutics, as a tonic or a stimulant or as a food has noscientic basis; therefore be it resolved that the AmericanMedical Association opposes the use of alcohol as a beverage;and be it further resolved that the use of alcohol as atherapeutic agent should be discouraged (AMA Transactions,1917: 11; quoted in Sinclair, 1962: 61). The AMA also issuedmany other resolutions that allowed the WCTU to weavearguments from AMA physicians about the deleterious effectof alcohol in with their own, often much more speculativeassertions of the physical and moral consequences of alcoholuse. Given the AMAs status as a health authority and itssupport of the WCTUs rhetoric and tactics, we predict thatthe WCTUs normative effects on brewery failures will beamplied in states with more AMA physicians:Hypothesis 1b: Increases in the number of AMA members in astate will enhance the effects of WCTU membership on breweryfailur…Privatizing Participation: Civic Changeand the Organizational Dynamics ofGrassroots Lobbying FirmsEdward T. WalkerUniversity of VermontThis article highlights the shifting boundaries between the public and private spheres inadvanced capitalist societies through an examination of grassroots lobbying firms. Theseorganizations, which became a fixture in U.S. politics in the 1970s and have grown innumber and prominence since, subsidize public participation on behalf of corporations,industry groups, and associations using direct mail, telephoning, and by mobilizingmembers and stakeholders. I examine the dynamics of this organizational populationwhose existence calls attention to broad transformations in civil societywith referenceto dramatic growth in the organizational populations of civic and trade associations.Results, derived from a Generalized Estimating Equation panel regression of firmfounding events across U.S. regions from 1972 to 2002, suggest that the increasingformal organization of civil society has supported the development of a field oforganizations that subsidize participation. These organizations do so, however, in amanner that restricts the development of social capital and civic skills while augmentingthe voice of private interests in public and legislative discourse.Delivered by Ingenta to :University of Vermont LibrariesThu, 12 Feb 2009 13:36:42Politicians rely like anyone else on family andfriends for advice and support, and they rely onpeople with money to fund their campaigns.Ultimately, however, they also need votes fromthe community at large to win election and re-Direct correspondence to Edward Walker,University of Vermont, Department of Sociology, 31South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05405(Edward.Walker@uvm.edu). I would like to thankJohn McCarthy for his constructive feedback on earlier drafts and proposals that led to the developmentof this project. I thank Colin Jerolmack, DanKrymkowski, Alan Sica, Andrew Lindner, Pat Rafail,Duane Alwin, Lee Ann Banaszak, Nancy Love, andRoger Finke for helpful criticism on earlier iterations of the manuscript, and Frank Baumgartner,David Meyer, and Craig Jenkins for comments onrelated aspects of the broader project. My particularappreciation goes to ASR editors Roscigno andHodson and the blind peer reviewers. Finally, I amgrateful for Frank Baumgartners willingness to sharehis data on public interest groups. This research wassupported by the National Science Foundation (#SES0527344), the Pennsylvania State University Researchand Graduate Studies Office, and the endowment ofWilliam H. Form and Joan Huber.election. Lobbyists therefore need to convincepoliticians that the masses are desperately concerned about the issue they want pressed. By the1980s, PR firms like Hill and Knowlton weredeveloping techniques not only for targeting legislators but also for serving up their constituents.Since then the business of organizing grassrootssupport for pro-business positions has become ahalf-billion-dollar-a-year PR subspecialityoneof the hottest trends in politics today, accordingto former state legislator Ron Faucheux, now theeditor of Campaigns and Elections magazine. Inthe modern world, few major issues are merely lobbied anymore, Faucheux writes. Most of them arenow managed, using a triad of public relations,grassroots mobilization and lobbyists. (Stauberand Rampton 1995:81)Recent scholarship on the relationshipbetween civic and political life has neglected to sufficiently document the roles thatbusiness associational formation and the growthof public interest groups have played in reshaping the civic landscape. While doing much todemonstrate the influence of the values andbehaviors associated with citizens decliningsocial capital (Putnam 1995, 2000) on the onehand, and the vitiated capacity of associationsAMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW, 2009, VOL. 74 (February:83105)84AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEWto mobilize members as fully engaged particiof civil society on subsidies for participation.pants (Skocpol 2003) on the other, analysts haveDisaggregating the analysis by region is important because a substantial majority of GLFspaid scant attention to the influence that prolobby at the local and state levels.1fessional lobbying of the public has had in priThe growth of GLFs is politically consevatizing civic life. Despite the influentialquential since the increased availability of lowpolitical science literature on the explosion ofcost communication technologies makes itinterest groups in the 1970s and early 1980spossible to cultivate the appearance of wide(Berry 1997; Walker 1991), few systematicspread support for a policy position, even whenanalyses explore how the growth of interestincongruent with popular opinion (Kollmangroups has encouraged the expansion of subsi1998). Perhaps more importantly, such institudies for public participation across place andtional campaigns tend not to cultivate citizenstime.social capital or participatory skills, but oftenThis study documents how two fundamentalask individuals to do little more than write achangesbusiness mobilization and the growthcheck or endorse a form letter. Although growthof political interest groupshave transformedin the organizational population of GLFs ispublic life through one particularly modernlikely to activate many citizens who might othaspect of how citizens relate to government:erwise refrain from participating (Wittenberggrassroots lobbying campaigns orchestratedand Wittenberg 1990), it is also likely to haveby professional firms that subsidize citizen pardeleterious consequences.ticipation in the political process. Such firms,Although grassroots lobbying is now awhich provide services to businesses, trade assoprominent component of U.S. politicsexemciations, public interest groups, and governplified by the Lobbying Transparency andment clients, assist their clients by provokingAccountability Act of 2006, which proposedcitizen activism in their favor. The presence ofstringentgrassroots lobbying firms (GLFs) inDelivered by Ingenta to regulations on paid contactingtherepublic life:is only a smallcalls attention to the fact that while civic andVermont Libraries literature on grassroots lobbyingUniversity of(Cigler and Loomis 1995; Godwin 1988;business groups continue to mobilizeThu, 12 Feb 2009 13:36:42their memGoldstein 1999; Hojnacki and Kimball 1999;bers and stakeholders directly (Rosenstone andKollman 1998), and an even smaller one on theHansen 1993), they also hire private firms torole of private firms (Greider 1992; Lyon andincrease public participation on pertinent legMaxwell 2004; Stauber and Rampton 1995).islative issues. One of the central ways in whichDespite its civic and political relevance, weprivate interests have come to play a larger rolecurrently know little about this important newin the modern public sphere is illustrated hereorganizational field.(Habermas 1989): the increasing formal organThis research uses a unique data source on theization of civil society, as well as the expansionpopulation of GLFs, examining how the changof business associations, combined to legitiing contours of civil society have contributed tomate a field of private organizations engaged inthe legitimation and institutionalization of thissubsidizing the publics political participation.My analyses explain variation in the founding of GLFs over time and across geographic1 Readers should be aware that the founding of aregions. Research on civic engagement andpolitical participation has long emphasized thefirm in a given region does not necessarily meanthat all its lobbying efforts will be targeted within thatimportance of local and regional communitiesregion. However, additional analysesusing the datain shaping civic action (Warren 2001), but muchsource described belowshow that nearly one-thirdof it focuses on national-level studiesof the firms (32.2 percent) work in only one or two(Rosenstone and Hansen 1993; Verba,states, and an additional one-fifth (20.2 percent)Schlozman, and Brady 1995). In line with otherwork in fewer than a dozen states. Furthermore, a subsociological accounts that have brought renewedstantial majority of firms claim to work at either theattention to the importance of regional differlocal (85.7 percent) or state (91.4 percent) level. It isences and local particularities in a context ofthus reasonable to expect that firms will engage inglobalization (Gieryn 2000; Griswold andcampaigns targeted at their home regions, even if theyWright 2004), the analyses below highlight thecarry out significant additional lobbying at the nationinfluence of regional variation in the structureal level or in other regions.PRIVATIZING PARTICIPATION85novel field. In so doing, this study contributesto the sociological understanding of how thedevelopment of one organizational field mighthelp to legitimateor, alternatively, crowd outand compete withthe founding of organizations in separate but related fields (Baum andOliver 1991; Minkoff 1994; Rao and Nielsen1992). While a complete analysis of the organizational ecology of firms is beyond the scopeof this article, the findings illustrate how civic,political, and organizational changes, as well asbroader institutional considerations, influencethe legitimation of new fields, long a concernof institutional scholars (e.g., Haveman andRao 1997; Ruef 2000; Simons and Ingram2004).SUBSIDIZING PUBLICPARTICIPATIONthen to shape the content of their claims(Baumgartner and Walker 1988). ConsiderShulmans (2006) study of e-mails sent to theEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding air pollution restrictions: only 1.2 percent ofthe e-mails were unique (79.3 percent wereunaltered form letters; the remaining 19.5 percent were modified form letters). This suggeststhat participatory subsidies tend not to merelyfacilitate, but rather often dictate the content ofcommunications.Social networks also help to subsidize participation by reducing the costs of informationgathering among participants (Rosenstone andHansen 1993). In a context in which individuals networks have contracted considerably(McPherson, Smith-Lovin, and Brashears 2006),targeted recruitment efforts are likely to beinfluential (Brady et al. 1999). The shrinking ofnetworks, alongside an organizational field thatdoes little to mobilize face-to-face participation,makes it likely that subsidies will arise to compensate for declining engagement.Organizations active in politics have long beenknown for their capacity to mobilize individuals into action, whether through direct requestsfor participation by interest groups (Goldstein1999; Rosenstone and Hansen 1993) or, moreGRASSROOTS LOBBYING FIRMSDelivered by Ingenta to :commonly, through the indirect teaching of Vermont LibrariesUniversity ofAND THEIR CAMPAIGNSpolitical skills (Verba et al. 1995) and uninten- 2009 13:36:42Thu, 12 Febtional political socialization due to activity inFew words in the English language conjure upnonpolitical associations (Putnam 2000; Walkersuch dramatic images of populism and authen2008a). A subsidy, however, is more than just aticity as grassroots. Indeed, Safires Politicalrequest to participate. Subsidies inherentlyDictionary famously defines grassroots asreduce the costs associated with participation bythe ultimate source of power, usually patronproviding information about the means of parized, occasionally feared (1978:271). Althoughticipation and by assisting potential participantsAmericans regularly express contempt forin articulating a message. Requests for politiofficeholders, the discursive space of the grasscal action, while often selectively targeted atroots is typically held in higher regard. Indeed,those likely to acquiesce (Brady, Schlozman,it is this discursive space of authenticity thatand Verba 1999), may or may not be effectivepolitical and economic elites and other organin subsidizing participation. While research hasized actors seek to claim for their campaigns.called attention to the role of state subsidies inSome practitioners even argue that any form ofgenerating collective action (Aguirre 1984) andadvocacy is doomed if it does not adopt simulcultural production (Berezin 1994), littletaneous inside and outside strategiesresearch has dealt explicitly with the social(Wittenberg and Wittenberg 1990).forces that encourage institutions to subsidizeProfessional grassroots campaigns, regardlesscitizen participation.of their institutional sponsors, know that powOrganized interests seek to reduce particierful organizations need political legitimacy.patory costs, in part, to combat the individualOrganizations have long relied on insidetendency to avoid engaging in collective actionstrategies, such as hiring paid lobbyists andfor public goods (Olson 1965). Perhaps themaking campaign contributions, but none ofmost common subsidies are informational:these strategies carry the weight of the publicsorganizations provide research, marshal facts,voice to the extent that outside campaignsand issue talking points that stakeholders maydo. To win legislative battles, these organizationsuse both to decide whether to participate andbenefit by expanding the scope of conflict86AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW(Schattschneider 1960) to include individualon behalf of Fortune 500 corporations andcitizens, especially when legislators are on thenational electoral campaigns. Like many firmsfence on a given issue (Browne 1995).located in California, one of their core serviceThe use of private firmsfirms that provideareas is the management of ballot and referenservices for mobilizing the publicis a keydum campaigns. They also specialize in letterelement in grassroots campaigns. Professionalwriting; the firm claims it collect[s] unique andlobbying of the public began with boutique outoriginal letters on a face-to-face basis by assistlets that were typically side projects of majoring the letter writer[s] in putting their ownpublic relations (PR) firms. Their successesthoughts on paper. Other areas of expertisemade this practice appealing to others who startinclude cultivating grassroots activist networks,ed independent firms, some of which began ascreating third-party organizations, buildingRepublican-affiliated direct mail outlets in thecoalitions, and recruiting volunteers for partic1980s (Stone 1994; Viguerie 1981). As Cigleripation in public hearings.4and Loomis (1995:396) note, groups began toCapital Strategies (Capstrat) (Raleigh, NC,contract out the direct-mail and phone bankest. 1994). Capstrat provides grassroots lobbycomponents of their grassroots operations, asing services to clients ranging froman ancillary industry has arisen to meet theGlaxoSmithKline to local institutions such asdemand for the new technology.2 Consider, forthe Duke University Alumni Association. In itsexample, brief profiles of three firms in theown words, the firm helps clients tell theirdata:stories powerfully and effectively to the audiCapitol Advantage (Fairfax, VA, est. 1986).ences that matter mostcustomers, prospects,This firm claims to be the nations pioneerthe media, policymakers, employees, opinionand premier provider of online and offline grassleaders and shareholders.5 To meet these goals,roots solutions for more than 1,500 corporations,Capstrats services include both direct and indinonprofits, associations, educational institurect (grassroots) lobbying. Their services includeDelivered by Ingenta to :tions, media portals, and other organizations.3Vermont Librariesonline grassroots coalition building, postcardUniversity ofThe organizations founder, Bob Hansan, 12 Feb 2009 13:36:42 facilitating media coverage.mainmailings, andThu,tains that helping [citizens] speak out effecSuch firms subsidize public participation bytively, in a way that ensures their message isoffering targeted individuals a ready-made temheard .|.|. thats the real promise of civic particplate for activism: a plea for the potential paripation and the work we do every day. Throughticipants time and interest (often using aits consulting, Capwiz software, and legislasensational framing of the issue [Godwintor databases, Capitol Advantage assists its1988]), a way of ameliorating the existing sitclients in mobilizing stakeholders legislativeuation, and a prefabricated message to be sentand electoral power.to the appropriate local, state, or federal repreArno Political Consultants (APC) (Ranchosentatives. Importantly, these subsidies goCordova, CA, est. 1979). APC has been activebeyond the contacting of officials; they alsoin a variety of grassroots campaigns, workinglower the costs for participants who want tocontribute financially (often through onlinefundraising), become members of the client2 The data source used in this research (seeorganization, or organize local events on behalfof the client. This outsourcing benefits clientsAppendix) also includes data on each firms organiby reducing the time and effort staff must dedzational structure, revenue, employees, party affiliation, and more. Although it is beyond the scope oficate to communicating with stakeholders (seethis analysis to describe these measures in detail, IFisher 2006), by showing an organizations legitnote that firms tend to be relatively small (median ofimacy in civil society, and by limiting costs10 employees) and focused on public relations (23.6through selective targeting.percent), a mix of PR and lobbying (35.5 percent),or a small set of specific services such as direct mail(28.7 percent).3 http://capitoladvantage.com/what-we-do.html;retrieved September 12, 2007. Readers should beaware that outdated Web pages are available in original form at http://www.archive.org.4 http://www.apcusa.com/grassroots.htm; retrievedSeptember 12, 2007.5 http://www.capstrat.com/; retrieved September12, 2007.PRIVATIZING PARTICIPATION87THE INCREASING FORMALORGANIZATION OF CIVIL SOCIETYHypothesis 1: Growth in the formal organization of civil societymeasured by thefounding of regional organizations active inpublic affairsis associated positively withthe founding of professional GLFs and,therefore, with private subsidies for publicparticipation.Encouraged in part by the growth of governmentregulation in the 1960s and early 1970s (Vogel1989), Public Interest Movement organizationsand myriad citizen groups were founded in thefollowing decade (Berry 1997; Walker 1991).These organizations were largely middle class,In addition, following Minkoff (1994), evirelied on external patrons, lobbied on issuesdence of a positive relationship would suggestranging from gender discrimination to the influthat these fields are mutualistic rather than comence of business in politics (Berry 1997), andpetitive with one another.were influential well beyond reforming policy.As Berry (1977) notes, lobbying groups in theBUSINESS MOBILIZATION1970s changed the very context of policymakThe mid-1970s also saw business begin, onceing in that a variety of new constituenciesagain, to assert its power in Washingtonbecame aware of their ability to generate bad(Peschek 1987; Plotke 1992; Vogel 1989). In apublicity, file lawsuits, and reshape public opinsomewhat Gramscian turn, the rise of citizenion. Similar to the innovations in interest groupactivism appears to have encouraged businessstrategies developed at the turn of the centuryto adopt civic tactics. As Vogel (1989:10)(Clemens 1997), these new interest groups, anddescribes, industry was not getting resultslater grassroots lobbyists, sought to exploit thebecause it failed to recognize thatdecentralized federal system by targeting theirefforts at multiple levels of government.public policy was no longer being made in privatePerhaps the most significant consequence ofnegotiations between Washington insiders and aDeliveredhandful :the group explosion is that associations legit-by Ingenta to of strategically placed representatives andUniversity of Vermont Libraries within Congress had become moreimated the strategic, targeted mobilization 12 cit- 2009 senators. PowerThu, of Feb13:36:42decentralized, the number of interest groups repizens through media technologies. It is notresented in Washington had increased, the role ofcoincidental that the expansion of grassrootsthe media in defining the political agenda and thelobbying firms followed the passage of theterms of political debate had expanded, the imporSunshine Laws, which were designed to maketance of political parties had declined, and therepresentatives more transparent to citizens andcourts had begun to play a much more active roledecentralize power within Congress (Heitshusenin making regulatory policy.2000; Oppenheimer 1980). In addition, theSimilarly, Greider (1992:46) finds a direct relalargely professionalized cohort of organizationstionship between the transformed regulatoryfounded during this period were relatively aneenvironment, the growth of associations, andmic in their capacity to cultivate face-to-faceprivate subsidies for public participation:activism (Skocpol 2003).The origins of information-driven politics are,It is reasonable to expect that the rise in citironically, traceable to progressive reform as muchizen advocacy in certain regions of the countryas to large corporations or wealth. Middle-class andhelped to legitimate the organizational field ofliberal-minded reformers, trying to free governGLFs. In fact, regions with a dense field ofment decisions from the crude embrace of thecivic associationssuch as California and thepowerful, emphasized a politics based on factsmid-Atlantictend to have enhanced levels ofand analysis as their goal. They assumed that forcGLF founding. Practitioners of grassroots lobing substance into the political debate, supported by disinterested policy analysis, would helpbying also tie civic organizations to the develovercome the natural advantages of wealth andopment of their field. For example, Grefe andentrenched power. But information is never neuLinsky (1995:xi) argue that grassroots lobbyingtral and, in time, every interest recognized the userepresents the marriage of communication andfulness of buying or producing its own facts.information technology with the [sic] 1960sgrassroots organizing techniques, claimingAccordingly, businesses felt relatively weakheritage in the community organizing of Saulvis-à-vis liberal advocacy organizations andAlinsky. I therefore hypothesize the following:realized that they should imitate the strategies88AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEWof those working against them. It took about six2000), call attention to the contemporary declineyears for industry to respond (Vogel 1989).in many forms of civic participation. PutnamsMany have suggested that professional grassaccount shows that involvement in multipleroots lobbying came about as the result of busiassociational formsparticularly membershipness mobilization in politics, beginning in theorganizationshas decreased considerably, andmid-1970s and accelerating immediately theresomewhat evenly, across social classes.after (Faucheux 1995; Stone 1994; Vogel 1989).Although there are differing perspectives as toBecause of the threat posed by regulation andwhich causal mechanisms explain this declinecitizen organizing, corporations became more(see Wuthnow 1998), Putnams analysis emphasophisticated in politics. While business fearedsizes increased viewing of television, changesthe consequences of throwing its political weightin residential structure (especially suburbanaround in the 1960s, the period after the 1974ization), and greater time and money pressures.elections saw the rise of activism against perThe key change highlighted in these argumentsceived overregulation (Pertschuk 1982). Thisis decreasing individual-level participation in aled to a class consciousness among businessesrange of community activities, which has takenthat, although fleeting, supported the developplace differentially across U.S regions (seement of a long-term corporate presence in paidPutnam and Feldstein 2003:24168).lobbying, public relations, and policy-planningBuilding on this account, I examine the posorganizations (Peschek 1987). Additionally, insibility that participatory subsidies are athis new regulatory environment, corporationsresponse to regional civic disengagement. It isalso began to place heavier emphasis on publicplausible that declining participation led civictransparency and accountability, stakeholderand business organizations to conclude thatopinion, and philanthropic programs. Many corindividuals are wil…

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