Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 1371–1379

An Ethical Approach to Lobbying Activities of Businesses in the United States

  • Jane M. Keffer
  • Ronald Paul Hill

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005722806496

Cite this article as:
Keffer, J.M. & Hill, R.P. Journal of Business Ethics (1997) 16: 1371. doi:10.1023/A:1005722806496


This paper presents an ethical approach to the use of lobbying within the context of the relationships among U.S. organizations, their lobbyists, and government officials. After providing a brief history of modern-day lobbying activities, lobbying is defined and described focusing on its role as a strategic marketing tool. Then ethical frameworks for understanding the impact of these practices on various external constituencies are delineated with an emphasis on the communitarian movement advanced by Etzioni. Consistent with the call for "informed advocacy" by Laczniak (1993), the paper closes with an examination of the ethics of specific lobbying activities.

business strategycommunitarianismethicslobbying

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane M. Keffer
    • 1
  • Ronald Paul Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.PortlandU.S.A.