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Title: Business membership organisations in East Africa : perceptions of success
Author: Irwin, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 6520
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2019
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Business associations represent the interests of business to government and seek to influence public policy outcomes. The interest group literature that analyses the role of business in, and its contribution to, the policy-making process has found that business associations can influence policy outcomes. However, existing research has largely focussed on the consolidated democracies of the United States and the European Union, and relatively little is known about business associations in other major regions and continents. The interest group literature extensively explores, inter alia, advocacy strategies, whether and how interest groups secure access, resource exchange mechanisms, whether success is venue dependent, whether coalitions make a difference and whether interest groups lobby people who already agree. This body of knowledge implies a need for business associations both to manage themselves effectively and to make cogent arguments if they are to influence policy. Many researchers stress the need to be professional, but there is a paucity of research on the impact of interest group competence or what it actually means to be professional. Accordingly, this thesis addresses two major research gaps which together comprise the research question. Firstly, it investigates and explains the competences necessary for business associations to influence public policy. Secondly, it focuses on business associations in the consolidating democracies of Kenya and Tanzania. It analytically explores many of the possible competences and empirically considers which are the most important. It adopts a case study approach by reviewing the work of four business associations over more than six years, covered through 150 face to face interviews with business associations, government officials and other stakeholders. This study makes contributions to the literature in terms of the nature of relationships developed by African business associations, through gaining insights on the process of public private dialogue, through understanding what it means for a business association to be professional and identifying stages of development through which business associations progress. Further, it provides additional evidence that business associations can indeed influence policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available