When Corporations get Political

Both Apple and Google have recently been getting some attention in the Blogosphere for their support and contributions to the No on Prop 8 campaign. California Proposition 8 would amend the state constitution to read “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Obviously this is a hot button issue in the upcoming election.

I think that both companies are on pretty solid ground in supporting the fight against Prop 8. Apple and Google have a history of being progressive companies. Google’s corporate philosophy even states that “you can make money without doing evil.” So all in all they might take a little heat from this, but it’s more likely to get them good press than bad. But what if they came out in support of Prop 8? Or if they weren’t such large and established companies? Would it be a wise decision for them to so publicly state their political views, especially if they couldn’t be sure all their employee’s would agree?

I think that corporations must be careful about supporting political causes, but if they decide to do so they must be sure that the cause aligns itself with their corporate philosophy (and that philosophy is strong and established).

I believe that in the future we’ll be seeing more and more corporations aligning themselves with political causes. Part of this might be related to the increased number of workers and entrepreneurs who are Gen Y’ers. Many studies have shown that Gen Y’ers tend to seek jobs that they can identify with, more than their predecessors (Gen X, Baby Boomers). Gen Y’ers want their jobs to reflect their personal views and as a result corporations get more political.

Take a look at Apple and Google’s position statements. Do you think these statements are effective? How would you change them (if at all)?

Here are some more links on the issue: