In the 1980s, political scientists paid increased attention to the role of the firm as a direct actor in the political process. By the end of the decade, it was no longer possible to claim, as Dyson had justifiably done in 1983 (p. 35), ‘The politics of the firm has been neglected.’ That is not to say that its importance was fully recognised in research. A number of projects, however, made it clear just how important an actor the firm was. Cawson and his colleagues reported (1990, pp. 375–6):
Our research has led us to the unmistakable conclusion that at the present time the key to unlocking the complexities of industrial politics lies in the corporate strategies of the major firms. Other actors — trade unions, trade associations, even governments — are far less significant as the drivers of change than are the firms.