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Terms and conceptual definitions

Collective or Common Goods

Goods that are characterized by the non-excludability of potential users and non-rivalry of consumption, which means that there is usually no market for them, and they must therefore be provided by public authorities.

Corporate Political Responsibility (CPR)

A stance of political responsibility taken by companies in their enlightened economic self-interest; further development and strategic focus of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

CPR Essentials

All contributions that companies make in the CPR fields of activity to the culture of democratic debate, the strengthening of the democratic order, and the state infrastructure, in classic policy areas or cross-sectoral issues such as demography or digitalization. The essence of CPR is the strengthening of the institutional structure of the liberal democratic and constitutional state as a business case.

CPR Fields of Action

 Areas, in which companies implement socio-political measures including responsible lobbying, topics and dialogues, projects of political participation, and provision of collective or common goods. They are the core of political brand management.

CPR Planning Unit

Operates like a small political think tank as part of the strategy department and provides the Executive Board or management, in particular the CEO, with analyses of business-relevant opportunities and risks in the political environment and formulates recommendations for action.

Corporate Digital Responsibility

Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) describes the voluntary commitment to doing sustainable business in the digital sector. It embraces a responsible approach to digitalization and technologies to create transparency and trust among customers, stakeholders, and society at large. The importance of digitalization for the overall social cohesion thus has an intrinsically political dimension looking at the implication on societal participation and the potential for education and discourse.

Existential Public Services

Provision of public services considered necessary for human existence, such as health, security, or education. These basic services describe the core task of the state and can be provided in part by companies within the framework of the governance concept.

Focal Institutions of Social Learning

Sociological understanding of the company as a societal place where people spend a considerable amount of their time, and which therefore has essential tasks of further training, also with regard to the importance of the political context of economic activity.


Political rulemaking or giving direction as well as the provision of collective or common goods through cross-sectoral cooperation and alliances (in contrast to the government’s state-centered concept).

Governance Gap

Insufficient provision of governance services by the state, which is structurally challenged by phenomena such as globalization and digitalization and can only operate transnationally to a limited extent.


Decentralized base (as opposed to departmentalizing responsibility in a separate unit) for CPR in the company to foster a broad-based political stance, making it an instrument of internal change management, and thus aligning it strategically.

Political Brand

The company in its role as a political actor, its positioning in the public sphere, and its relationship to various stakeholders in state and society.

Political Brand Creation

Systematic identification and consolidation of loose political brand elements in the company (political brand dimension) into a coherent political brand using the strength filter method.

Political Brand Dimension

Totality of those elements of a corporate brand that are related to the public/ political sphere.

Political Brand Management

Continuous development and safeguarding of the relevance of the political brand through measures in the CPR fields of action.

Political Branding

Operationalization of Corporate Political Responsibility in a process that includes political branding (analysis of the political brand dimension and development of the political brand) and political brand management (strategic planning, preparation, and implementation of measures) in the CPR fields of action (including impact measurement using a CPR scorecard).

Political Foundations

The socio-political and institutional preconditions for profitable business activity, such as the rule of law that allows for planning security, pluralism of opinion, tolerance, education, and infrastructure.

Political Investment

Use of financial, technological, personnel, and other corporate resources to strengthen socio-political institutions with the aim of improving the quality of the business location in the long term and of securing the earnings base.

Political Leitmotif

Political guidance for the corporation, which usually takes the form of a mission statement including a positioning sentence (essence) that emphasizes the identity and promise of the company as a political brand, thus creating internal and external orientation, and forms the basis for political communication measures.

Political Sustainability

Goal of CPR efforts; socio-political and institutional interpretation of the sustainability concept of corporate responsibility instead of its more common social and ecological context.

Public Change Management

Extension of the business concept of change management to the public sector, whereby companies as an integral part of intersectoral alliances initiate innovative political renewal processes.

Responsible Lobbying

Concept according to which companies present their positions transparently and consistently to all stakeholders and keep the common good in mind when pursuing specific goals.

Strength Filter Method

Development of the brand core of a company by identifying its strengths, filtering them according to the four criteria “true to itself,” “distinct from the competition,” “relevant for all target groups,” and “socio-political added value,” forming strength clusters and translating them into a mission statement.

The Political

A field in which decisions about public affairs and the political community are taken based on power constellations and competing interests and that extends beyond party politics.

What’s your take on these notions? Do you have further suggestions? We highly welcome your feedback!

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