Professor Emeritus Edwin Epstein was the distinguished speaker at a panel session celebrating his seminal book The Corporation in American Politics last month at the Academy of Management 2009 Annual Meeting in Chicago.
The session was titled The Corporation in American Politics – 40 Years Old and Still Pushing the Frontier of Studying Business and Government. After it was published in 1969, Epstein's book The Corporation in American Politics won a "Best Book in Management" award and paved the way for four decades of research and teaching this new field of business education.
“It was the seminal study of the role of large business corporations in the American political process," Epstein says. "It examined the rationale underlying corporate political activity from the perspective of the firm as well as the implications of that involvement in terms of public policy formation and implementation in the US.”
Today, Epstein’s analytical framework remains pertinent. “As a clear testament to its enduring power to inspire research, it is the only work that I know of that has been subjected to two Academy of Management sessions (1989 and 2009)," says John Mahon, dean of the University of Maine’s College of Business Public Policy and Health. "A clear reading of his work reveals a richness of theoretical and applied research that can be mined by those interested in the political environment of business today."
Epstein was trained as a political scientist and attorney. He arrived at UC Berkeley in 1964 as a lecturer. In 1973, he became a professor and served as the school’s associate dean for four years and chair of Berkeley's Academic Senate.