Forces of Local Association

Robert J. Bennett

in Local Business Voice

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584734
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731105 | DOI:
Forces of Local Association

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This chapter reviews the main academic and practitioner discussions of what gives chambers their USP. It explores how unity of voice is developed through deliberation. It shows that earlier academic views of instability of early chambers are overstated. The forces underpinning collective action and free-rider behaviour are examined to demonstrate how chamber service bundles develop: as trust goods based on transaction costs and networking advantages. Institutional benefits and social capital assist chamber development. Additions to service bundles from government contracts are shown to have tensions of ‘non-preferred’ goods. Political non-alignment, and social networks are critical aspects of the historical and modern chamber brand. However, at critical points chambers have been ‘elite’ social movements that have participated in changing frames and policy repertoires; especially during times of extreme contention.

Keywords: Social capital; frame change; repertories of contention; service bundling; collective action; free riders; transaction costs; social networks; business networks; government contracts; trust goods; brand capital

Chapter.  22002 words. 

Subjects: Business History

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