Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Coaxing corporations: enriching the conceptualization of governments as strategic actors

Gill, Michael J.; Gill, David J.


Michael J. Gill

Professor of International Relations


Research summary: Little is known about how governments secure discrete resources from global corporations over which they have limited direct control. Utilizing declassified archival sources, we examine how the U.K. government influenced Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s to provide the highest possible credit ratings in 1978, despite the U.K. receiving an International Monetary Fund bailout two years earlier. We develop a process model to explain how democratic government officials employ distinctive processes to enable and facilitate a non-market approach of corporate coaxing to influence corporations’ decision making. We thereby enrich the concept of government as a strategic actor by illuminating how officials act to secure resources when in a position of dependence.
Managerial summary: We sought to understand how governments attempt to influence corporations’ decision making when they have limited direct control over these corporations. We examined the historical case of the U.K. government seeking to influence Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. In this case, we identified the distinctive strategy of corporate coaxing to explain how government officials navigate the distinctive constraints, and leverage the unique strengths, of their democratic state, to exert influence on private and global corporations. Our findings show how governments can be more active stakeholders in corporate activity than commonly assumed, as their subtle influence can extend beyond state policies or regulations.


Gill, M. J., & Gill, D. J. (in press). Coaxing corporations: enriching the conceptualization of governments as strategic actors. Strategic Management Journal,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2023
Publicly Available Date Sep 23, 2023
Journal Strategic Management Journal
Print ISSN 0143-2095
Electronic ISSN 1097-0266
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Archival and historical research; Corporate and government relations; Qualitative methodologies; Resource dependence theory; Strategic influence
Public URL