Public affairs activities are no longer primarily conducted by associations, but increasingly carried out by companies themselves. At the same time, the requirements for this corporate function have increased – above all due to the growing importance of European legislation and the competence and procedural interdependencies prevailing in the EU multilevel system. Against this backdrop, the question arises particularly for internationally operating companies how public affairs activities should be organized appropriately. A systematic treatment of this management problem is still pending.
In this paper, suitable design alternatives are presented and subjected to an in-depth efficiency assessment on the basis of business organization theory. Although, as expected, there exists no "one-size-fits-all" for organizing this corporate function, it is possible to derive tendency conclusions for certain types of context factors and individual subtasks that follow a theoretically closed organizational approach and that – also in the sense of a guide to organizational procedures – unfold immediate relevance for business practices.
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