Brayden King

Professor of Management and Organizations; and Max McGraw Chair of Management and the Environment, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Chapter Member: Chicagoland SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Brayden

King’s research looks at the influence of social movement activists on legislative policymaking and changes in corporate decision-making. He is interested in the various pathways that social movements might take to change the status quo and shape democratic politics. He is also interested in the trade-offs between public and private regulation as ways to shape the responsible behavior of corporate behavior.

In the News

Brayden King quoted on unexpected success of a recent boycott by James Hamblin, "People Actually Quit SoulCycle" The Atlantic, September 6, 2019.
Brayden King's research on Amazon's HQ2 discussed by Chip Cutter and Vanessa Fuhrmans, "Amazon Leaves New York but Not the Spotlight," The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2019.
"What Umpires Get Wrong," Brayden King (with Jerry Kim), New York Times, March 28, 2014.
"Case Study: Delta Airlines Boycott," Brayden King (with Mary-Hunter McDonnell), Financial Times, November 21, 2011.
"History is on the Occupiers’ Side," Brayden King, The Hill, October 11, 2011.


"Good Firms, Good Targets: The Relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility, Reputation, and Activist Targeting" in Corporate Social Responsibility in a Globalizing World, edited by Kiyoteru Tsutsui and Alwyn Lim (under review, forthcoming).
Demonstrates how, contrary to the common wisdom, firms that have positive reputations and that are known for doing good are not less likely to become targets of activist challenges. In fact, being positively regarded and known for being socially responsible makes a firm more likely to be the target of boycotts.
"Keeping Up Appearances: Reputation Threat and Prosocial Responses to Social Movement Boycotts" (with Mary-Hunter McDonnell). Administrative Science Quarterly 58, no. 3 (2013): 387-419.
Finds that after firms have been boycotted, they increase the number of prosocial claims they make about firm activities. Firms that are most likely to make these claims are those that have a positive reputation to protect.
"Social Movements, Risk Perceptions, and Economic Outcomes" (with Ion Bogdan Vasi). American Sociological Review 77, no. 4 (2012): 573-596.
Argues that one reason that activism threatens the well-being of corporate targets is because it changes how third-parties assess the risks to which a firm is exposed. We find that firms facing numerous challenges from environmental activists are rated as having greater environmental risk, which subsequently has a negative impact on financial performance.
"A Political Mediation Model of Corporate Response to Social Movement Activism" Administrative Science Quarterly 53, no. 3 (2008): 395-421.
Shows that twenty-five percent of boycotted firms concede to the activists’ demands. The firms that are most likely to concede are those that previously suffered reputational decline and those that are facing a lot of negative media attention.
"Winning Woman Suffrage One Step at a Time: Social Movements and the Logic of the Legislative Process" (with Eric Dahlin and Marie Cornwall). Social Forces 83, no. 3 (2005): 1211-1234.
Finds that the primary way in which activists influence legislative policymaking is through agenda-setting, i.e., shaping which issues lawmakers see as important and worthy of further consideration.