The Multi-Functionality of Professional and Business Associations in a Transitional Context: Empirical Evidence from Russia

Ekaterina Ivanova, Michaela Neumayr

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

In the literature it is generally assumed that activities of voluntary
membership based associations operating in stable institutional environments
are multi-faceted, contributing simultaneously to societal, economic and political
spheres. This article, drawing on the concept of functions of non-profit
organizations investigates, whether the multi-functional character of associations
holds true in the context of transitional Russia. The paper examines the
relative importance of the advocacy, community building and service delivery
functions, fulfilled by different types of associations. The original empirical
data from exploratory interviews with 15 leading experts on associational
activities was triangulated by a confirmatory survey of 215 associations across
Russia. The results confirm that the absolute majority of the examined associations
are multifunctional. Advocacy is considered to be the most important
function for all types of associations. The findings suggest that business associations
and intermediary unions are more active in policy advocacy directed
toward the government, while liberal professional societies are more engaged in
public advocacy addressing society at large. This study highlights importance
of domestic associations for countries in transition as an institutional infrastructure
of organized civil society, democratic development and market
economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45 - 70
JournalNonprofit Policy Forum
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502023 NPO research

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