Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Marketing & International Business

First Advisor

Dr Pio Fenton

Second Advisor

Dr Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin

Third Advisor

Prf Dr Lars Rademacher


Digital transformation, alongside social media channels, influences policymaking. The aim of this research is to build knowledge of the consequences of digital transformation on lobbying at German federal level. This analysis uncovers how digital lobbying works in Germany and how it changes classic communication within the political sphere. Taking a grounded theory approach, the study addresses both communicating sides: lobbyists, on the one hand, and members of the German Bundestag and their employees, on the other. A profound understanding of, and differentiation between, lobbying and digital lobbying is gained through a first data-gathering step of 15 interviews with representatives of both the political and lobbying sides. The study extends previous analyses by supplementing the findings with ethnographic data from the researcher’s experience of working as an employee of a member of the German Bundestag. Final conclusions were drawn by presenting these results in the second data-gathering step, during which four (digital) focus groups were held on the political side and three with agency, association, and corporate lobbyists from Berlin. The analysis uncovers a power shift in lobbying communication and a novel communication direction. To better understand capabilities and requirements in this new setting, a process model of lobbying and digital lobbying was designed. These empirical findings have important implications for the understanding of how the public becomes involved in digital lobbying and how both perspectives create knowledge of the future process of lobbying.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Access Level