The "Voice of Industry": Why management researchers should pay more attention to trade associations

Rajwani, Tazeeb; Lawton, Thomas and Phillips, Nelson (2015). The "Voice of Industry": Why management researchers should pay more attention to trade associations. Strategic Organization, 13(3) pp. 224–232.



Trade associations work to influence regulation, government policy, and public opinion on behalf of the collective needs and objectives of their members. They also serve as agents for disseminating and
exchanging information within industries, and often act as informal regulators by setting voluntary standards of behavior for industry members. Yet, despite the obvious importance of trade associations for firms, industries, and societies, management and organization researchers have devoted surprisingly little attention to understanding them. In this essay, we argue that researchers must develop a deeper understanding of their purpose, sources of influence, and impact on companies, industries, and society. We go on to discuss three examples of areas of management research—institutional theory, collective identity, and nonmarket strategy—where we believe trade associations are of particular relevance and where existing theoretical
perspectives remain limited without an explicit consideration of these important organizations.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 46707
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1476-1270
  • Keywords
  • Nonmarket strategy; institutional entrepreneurship; institutional work; stakeholder theory; collective identity; industry asociations; trade associations; meta-organizations
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
    Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2015 The Authors
  • Depositing User
  • Thomas Lawton