Participation in Trade and Business Associations

  • Marina Saitgalina
  • Ting ZHAO
  • Robert A. Stebbins
  • David H. Smith


This chapter focuses on trade and business associations (TBAs) and their general importance in contemporary societies. Such associations differ from other associations studied in this Handbook by having collective or organizational members, usually for-profit businesses, not individual persons asmembers. Topics reviewed include trade association activities, origins, member motivations, internal structures, factors affecting impact/success, types of positive and negative impacts, variations among types, changes occurring, current challenges, barriers to participation, public policy impacts, and theories. TBAs are major supporters for the business sector in nearly all contemporary societies and often have a powerful influence on government laws and policies in democratic nations.

We will examine how such organizations are similar to and different from other types of organizations covered in this part of the Handbook. TBAs (including chambers of commerce) are one type of occupational-economic association. Occupational-economic associations in general date back about 2,500 years in human history (see Handbook Chapter 1).


Collective Action Comparative International Development Professional Association Trade Association Voluntary Association 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andersen, Robert, James Curtis, and Edward Grabb. 2006. “Trends in Civic Association Activity in Four Democracies: The Special Case of Women in the United States.” American Sociological Review 71: 376–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beynon, Huw, Rhys Davies, and Steve Davies. 2012. “Sources of Variation in Trade Union Membership Across the UK: The Case of Wales.” Industrial Relations Journal 43: 200–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bräutigam, Deborah, Lise Ranker, and Scott Taylor. 2002. “Business Associations and Growth Coalitions in Sub-Saharan Africa.” The Journal of Modern African Studies 40: 519–547Google Scholar
  4. Bresser, Rudi K. F. 1988. “Matching Collective and Competitive Strategies.” Strategic Management Journal 9:375–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curtis, James, Edward Grabb, and Douglas Baer. 1992. “Voluntary Association Membership in Fifteen Countries: A Comparative Analysis.” American Sociological Review 57: 139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dekker, Paul, and Loek Halman eds. 2003. The Values of Volunteering. Cross-Cultural Perspectives. New York: Kluwer Academic/ Plenum PublishersGoogle Scholar
  7. Doner, F. Richard, and Ben Schneider. 2000. “Business Associations and Economic Development: Why Some Associations Contribute More than Others.” Business & Politics 2: 261–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Drekmeier, Charles. 1962. Kingship and Community in Early India. Stanford, CA: Stanford University PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Guosheng Deng, and Scott Kennedy. 2010. “Big Business and Industry Association Lobbying in China: The Paradox of Contrasting Styles.” The China Journal 63 (January)Google Scholar
  10. Foster, Kenneth W. 1996. “State-Created Associations: The Emergence of Business Associations in Contemporary China.” Berkeley: University of California. Unpublished Doctoral DissertationGoogle Scholar
  11. Foster, Kenneth W. 2001. “Associations in the Embrace of an Authoritarian State: State Domination of Society?” Studies in Comparative International Development 5(4):84–109Google Scholar
  12. Foster, Kenneth W. 2002. “Embedded within the Bureaucracy: Business Association in Yantai.” The China Journal 47 (January):41–65Google Scholar
  13. Govorun, Andrei. 2010. “The Role of Business Associations in 2005–2010.” Pp. 393–404 in The Failure of Economics as a Modelling Failure (XII International Conference on Economic Development and Society), edited by M. Uskali. Helsinki, Finland: University of HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  14. Grábacke, Carina, and Kristoffer Jensen. 2013 “Appropriate Reactions to Globalisation? Interest Group Theory and Trade Associations in Clothing Between 1970 and 2000 — A Comparison Between Denmark and Sweden.” Business History 55: 215–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greenwood, Royston, Roy Suddaby, and C.R. Hinings, 2002. “Theorizing Change: The Role of Professional Associations in the Transformation of Institutionalized Fields.” Academy of Management Journal 45: 58–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hahn, Eugene D., Jonathan P. Doh, and Kraiwinee Bunyaratavej. 2009. “The Evolution of Risk in Information Systems Offshoring: The Impact of Home Country Risk, Firm Learning, and Competitive Dynamic.” MIS Quarterly 33(3):597–616Google Scholar
  17. Hedberg, Masha. 2011. “Voice, Influence or Security? The Motives for Membership in Post-Communist Business Associations.” Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Seattle, WA, SeptemberGoogle Scholar
  18. Heritier, Adrienne, and Sandra Eckert. 2008. “Self-Regulation by Associations: Collective Action Problems in European Environmental Regulation.” EUI Working Papers RSCAS 2008/26. Italy: European University InstituteGoogle Scholar
  19. Kim, Eui-Young. 1997. “The Role of Business Interest Association in the Political Economy of South Korea: A Focus on the Textile Industry.” Doctoral Dissertation, University of MichiganGoogle Scholar
  20. Klein, Karen E. 2005. “Insource, Offshore, Outsource - Help!” (25 May). Retrieved November 9, 2014 from
  21. Kloppenborg, John S., and Richard S. Ascough. 2011. Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations, and Commentary. Vol. 1. Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace. BZNVV 181. Berlin and New York: Walter de GruyterGoogle Scholar
  22. Knack, Stephen 2003. “Groups, Growth and Trust: Cross-Country Evidence on the Olson and Putnam Hypotheses.” Public Choice 117:341–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lenox, Michael J., and Jennifer Nash. 2003. “Industry Self-Regulation and Adverse Selection: A Comparison Across Four Trade Association Programs.” Business Strategy and the Environment 12:1-14 (DOI: 10.1002/bse.380)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ma, Qiusha. 2006. Non-Governmental Organization in Contemporary China: Paving the Way to Civil Society? New York: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Menon, Natasha, and Dolly Daftary. 2011. “The Impact of Associational Membership on Political Engagement: A Comparative Investigation of Brazil and India.” International Social Work 54: 81–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mikamo, Shingo. 2013. “Business Associations and Politics in the Post-EDSA Philippines: Neither Oligarchy nor Civil Society.” Philippine Political Science Journal. 34(1): 6–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moore, Pete W., and Bassel F. Salloukh. 2007. “Struggling Under Authoritarianism: Regimes, States, and Professional Associations in the Arab World.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 39: 53–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Morse, Hosea B. 1909. The Gilds of China with an Account of the Gild Merchant or ho Cong of Canton. London: LongmanGoogle Scholar
  29. Olson, Mancur. 1965. Logic of Collective Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University PressGoogle Scholar
  30. Olson, Mancur. 1982. The Rise and Decline of Nations. New Haven, CT: Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
  31. Park, Moon K. 1987. “Interest Representation in South Korea: The Limits of Corporatist Control.” Asian Survey 27(8):903–917CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Park, Sub. 2009. “Cooperation Between Business Associations and the Government in the Korean Cotton Industry, 1950-70.” Business History 51:835–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pearson, Margaret M. 1994. “The Janus Face of Business Association in China: Socialist Corporatism in Foreign Enterprises.” The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 31: 25–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pedraza, Jorge M., Yongyudh Vajaradul, and Ines Alvarez. 2011. “The Future Role of the Professional Associations in the Promotion of Tissue Banking Activities in Asia and the Pacific and in the Latin America Regions.” Cell Tissue Bank 12: 319–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Perry, Martin. 2012. “Trade Associations in Ireland and New Zealand: Does Institutional Context Matter for Collective Action.” Irish Journal of Management 31:19–44Google Scholar
  36. Porter, Michael E. 1998. “Clusters and the New Economics of Competition.” Harvard Business Review (November/December):77–90Google Scholar
  37. Putnam, Robert D. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University PressGoogle Scholar
  38. Pyle, William. 2005. “Collective Action and Post-Communist Enterprise: The Economic Logic of Russia’s Business Associations.” William Davidson Institute Working Paper 794. Ann Arbor, MI: University of MichiganGoogle Scholar
  39. Raynolds, Laura T. 2004. “The Globalization of Organic Agro-Food Networks.” World Development 32(5):725–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rebella da Silva, Gabriela, and Lara da Silva Carrilho. 2003. “Bridging the Standards Divide: A Case Study and Action Plan for Mozambique.” Pp. 65–164 in Standards and Global Trade: A Voice for Africa, edited by J. S. Wilson and V. O. Abiola. Washington, DC: The World BankGoogle Scholar
  41. Reilly, John F., Carter C. Hull, and Barbara A. B. Allen. 2003. “IRC 501(c)(6) Organizations.” Report prepared for Internal Revenue Service, Exempt Organizations-Technical Instruction Program for FY 2003Google Scholar
  42. Ross, Jack C. 1976. An Assembly of Good Fellows: Voluntary Associations in History. Westport, CT: GreenwoodGoogle Scholar
  43. Schaede, Ulrike. 2000. Cooperative Capitalism: Self-Regulation, Trade Associations, and the Antimonopoly Law in Japan. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  44. Schneider, Ben R. 2010. “Crisis and Institutional Origins: Business Association in Latin America.” Pp. 57–67 in Explaining Institutional Innovation: Case Studies from Latin America and East Asia, edited by R. F. Doner. Washington, DC: Social Science Research CouncilGoogle Scholar
  45. Schneider, Ben R., and Richard F. Doner, 2000. “The New Institutional Economics, Business Associations, and Development.” Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 20: 39–62Google Scholar
  46. Schneider, Volker, and Jürgen R. Grote. 2006. “Introduction: Business Associations Associative Order and Internationalization.” Pp. 1–18 in Governing Interests: Business Associations Facing Internationalization, edited by W. Streeck, J.R. Grote, V. Schneider, and J. Visser. Abindon, UK: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  47. Scialabba, Nadia. 2000. “Factors Influencing Organic Agriculture Policies with a Focus on Developing Countries.” Paper presented at the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, 2000 Scientific Conference, Basel, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  48. Shen, Minggao, Scott Rozelle, Linxiu Zhang, and Jikun Juang. 2006. “Farmer’s Professional Associations in Rural China: State Dominated or New State-Society Partnerships?” FED Working Papers FE20050013Google Scholar
  49. Smith, David H. 1981. “Altruism, Volunteers, and Volunteerism.” Journal of Voluntary Action Research (now Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly). 10(1):21–36Google Scholar
  50. Smith, David H. 1997. “The International History of Grassroots Associations.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 38(3-4):189–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Suzuki, Yuzuru. 1995. “The Emergency and Evolution of Peak Associations in Japan and the United States.” Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Harvard UniversityGoogle Scholar
  52. Umapathy, Karthikeyan, Lisa Jamba, and Albert D. Ritzhaupt. 2010. “Factors that Persuade and Deter Membership in Professional Computing Associations.” Journal of Information Systems Applied Research 3: 3–11Google Scholar
  53. Unger, Jonathan. 1996. “Bridges: Private Business, the Chinese Government and the Rise of New Associations.” The China Quarterly 147(September):795–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ville, Simon. 2007. “Rent Seeking or Market Strengthening? Industry Associations in New Zeland Wool Broking.” Business History Review 81:297–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Waltzing, Jean P. 1895. Etude Historique sur les Corporations Pro fessionelles chez les Romains Depuis les Origines fusqua la Chute de l’Empire d’Occident (A Historical Study of Professional Corporations among the Romans from the Beginning to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire), 4 vols. Louvain, Belgium: PatersGoogle Scholar
  56. Weisberg, David B. 1967 Guild Structure and Political Allegiance in Early Achaemenid Mesopotamia. New Haven, CT: Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
  57. Yakovlev, Andrei, and Andrei Govorun. 2011. “Industrial Association as a Channel of Business-Government Interaction in an Imperfect Institutional Environment: The Russian Case.” IWH-Diskussionspapiere, No. 2011.16 Retrieved November 10, 2014 from
  58. Yep, Ray. 2010. “The Limitations of Corporatism for Understanding Reforming China: An Empirical Analysis in a Rural Country.” Journal of Contempormy China 9(25):547–566Google Scholar
  59. Yu, Jianxing, Jun Zhou, and Hua Jiang. 2012. A Path for Chinese Civil Society: A Case Study on Industrial Associations in Wenzhou, China. Lanham, MD: Roman & LittlefieldGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Saitgalina
    • 1
  • Ting ZHAO
    • 2
  • Robert A. Stebbins
    • 3
  • David H. Smith
    • 4
  1. 1.Russia
  2. 2.China
  3. 3.USA
  4. 4.USA

Personalised recommendations