Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2009 (Revised July 2011)

International Lobbying and The Dow Chemical Company (A)

by Arthur A. Daemmrich

Abstract

This case explores company strategy, business-government relations, and collective action challenges associated with international and domestic lobbying regarding regulation of the chemical industry. In the fall of 2006, a five-year legislative process for a major new law regulating chemicals in the European Union appeared to be nearing its conclusion. REACH—the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals—would create a new European Chemicals Agency, require companies to submit testing data on existing and new compounds, and restrict the manufacture of hazardous substances. Andrew Liveris, CEO of the Dow Chemical Company, has to decide whether the company should engage in direct discussions with the European Parliament and Commission, with the implication that the company can influence the regulations but also would have to support the final outcome. The case summarizes Dow's history, competitive dynamics in the sector, and regulation of the chemical industry before describing the REACH legislative process and various approaches to lobbying used by chemical companies, trade groups, and environmental NGOs.

Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government Legislation; Business and Government Relations; Power and Influence; Competitive Advantage; Corporate Strategy; Chemical Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Europe;

Citation:

Daemmrich, Arthur A. "International Lobbying and The Dow Chemical Company (A)." Harvard Business School Case 710-027, November 2009. (Revised July 2011.)