AT&T and Corporate Political Donations after the Capitol Insurrection

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: May 25, 2022
Length: 18 pages
Product ID#: 9-334-409

Core Disciplines: Ethics, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management

Partner Collection:

Available Documents

Click on any button below to view the available document.

Don't see the document you need? Don't See the Document You Need?
Make sure you are registered and/or logged in to our site to view product documents. Once registered & approved, faculty, staff, & course aggregators will have access to full inspection copies and teaching notes for any of our materials.


Need to make copies?

If you need to make copies, you MUST purchase the corresponding number of permissions, and you must own a single copy of the product.

Electronic Downloads are available immediately after purchase. "Quantity" reflects the number of copies you intend to use. Unauthorized distribution of these files is prohibited pursuant to term of use of this website.

Teaching Note

This product has a teaching note available. Available only to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.


A year of political turmoil, capped by the violent insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, presented new challenges to many corporations, including AT&T. The telecommunications giant’s efforts to influence legislation and government administrators on topics from net neutrality to potential mergers had always been political, but expansion of the company’s political activism to encompass subjects outside of telecommunications in recent years had brought additional scrutiny from customers, legislators, and, increasingly, employees. Corporate statements in support of social justice based on race, gender, and sexuality had raised questions about the company’s political donations to candidates expressing policy preferences running counter to these values. The violent protests at the Capitol, which threatened the peaceful transition of power between presidential administrations, brought AT&T’s political activity under fire once again. AT&T had strong lobbying relationships with many members of Congress that had objected to the election results and had even made political action committee (PAC) contributions to 98 of their campaigns. As the vote tallies and political donations came to light the next day, the company needed a plan to navigate the tense situation.

Fictional protagonist Iyanna MacGregor, the top aide for AT&T’s executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, was responsible for drafting AT&T’s public statement and strategic political positions for the new Congress, set to take office in conjunction with the new presidential administration a few weeks after the insurrection events on January 6. It was essential for MacGregor’s strategy to address whether and to what extent AT&T would continue to interact with various governmental actors, particularly the members of Congress who had attempted to undermine the democratic process.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Identify the risks and benefits associated with political participation by corporations.
  • Evaluate the relative importance of these risks and benefits to corporations, especially regarding recent changes in American socioeconomic and political contexts.
  • Debate the role of corporations in modern society, including the ethical and economic implications of how they elect to participate in the political process.