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“To Grow the Industry”

“To Grow the Industry”

Business Associations and Economic Interests

(p.187) Chapter Six “To Grow the Industry”
Solidarity in Strategy
Lyn Spillman
University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates how strategies of action are connected to profit maximization and industry stability. After outlining standard theoretical assumptions about the pursuit of economic interests in associations, the chapter discusses new findings from the population census and from the focal sample about what exactly national business associations do in this large arena of economic action. It then turns to an analysis of the meanings attributed to these strategies of action. The chapter analyzes how association discourse resolves potential contradictions between particular and collective economic interests, questioning standard solutions scholars have proposed to the Olsonian puzzle of “free riding” in associations. Finally, the chapter discusses cases in the focal sample in which associations pursue tactics oriented to protecting collective “industry” economic interests in the politicized coordination of industry change.

Keywords:   business associations, economic interest, profit maximization, industry stability, collective interest, industry change

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