One voice, but whose voice? Exploring what drives trade association activity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Trade associations operate under the premise of advancing the shared interests of their member firms. How well do they fulfill this role? This article measures the activity of 148 major industry trade associations over time and relates this activity to the performance of the relevant industries and dominant firms within them. Findings suggest that trade association spending increases when the profitability of the four largest firms in an industry decreases, but spending is unrelated to the profitability of the industry overall. This implies that large firms exert control over trade association agendas and may use these communal organizations to advance their own interests rather than the shared interests of the entire industry. Moreover, it points to the need for further development of the currently anemic management literature on the activities of trade associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLimits to Stakeholder Influence
Subtitle of host publicationWhy the Business Case Won't Save the World
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781788970693
ISBN (Print)9781788970686
StatePublished - Dec 28 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


  • Collective action
  • Cooperative strategy
  • Industry effects
  • Trade associations


Dive into the research topics of 'One voice, but whose voice? Exploring what drives trade association activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this