Trade Associations as Industry Reputation Agents: A Model of Reputational Trust
Scholars have started to focus on the ways in which firms manage their reputations through collective action. Collective reputation management is most often carried out through trade associations (TAs). But what do these TAs actually do? How do they further their members' interests with stakeholders like regulators, industry financial analysts, employees, suppliers, and the media? Informed by a rich set of 43 qualitative interviews with the trade associations (TAs) representing the UK's 24 largest business sectors, the paper builds a model of the reputational incentives that drives the dynamic relationship between trade associations, firms and multiple stakeholder groups. The paper's preliminary empirical research coupled with the conceptual model provides five directions for future research.
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