WITH HEALTH POLICY
THE PORTRAIT of many large employers as interested in policies to increase human capital investment does not mesh with the political positions usually taken by major business associations. If many large employers accept the high-performance workplace logic, why have they not become more involved in enacting corresponding policies? Like Sherlock Holmes, we are puzzled by the dog that did not bark in the night.
Chapters 5 through 7 investigate how variations in core activists' institutional profiles, or corporate policy capacity, have influenced business's engagement with key legislative initiatives in health, training, and workfamily policy. Previous chapters suggested that group organization, policy legacies, and private expertise in policy are important in putting social issues on the business agenda and attracting support from individual firms. Yet it is easier to express concern for abstract problems than to make a commitment to specific legislative proposals; therefore, corporate behavior at the point of legislation may be quite different from that at the agenda-building stage.1 In the following chapters I argue that the growth of private expertise, the pattern of organization, and the policy legacies in an area also matter to whether managers organize to support legislative initiatives.
The general pattern of business organization in the United States predisposes employers toward negative or neutral stands on collective social goods for two reasons. First, umbrella business associations compete with one another for members and are unable to generate common positions on issues that might alienate a segment of their constituency. The proliferation of interest groups, each with its own particular agenda, means that the many voices that speak for employers seldom say the same thing. Interests that might find common ground in other settings are often di-____________________