The content on industry associations relates to the statement of inquiry, understand that entrepreneurs must innovate in order to remain competitive over time, as sometimes being in a trade association may help a group of businesses (i.e. an industry) to remain competitive. For example, in order for the automobile industry to remain competitive, it must collectively lobby against the government on some of its anti-automobile policies. This is for the collective benefit of the whole group of suppliers, manufacturers, etc.

In fact, it relates to the global context orientation in space and time as it shows how individuals can form a group to respond to changing opportunities. Government policies, new technologies, etc. are constantly evolving, and it helps to be in a trade association to be kept up to date of these. For instance, new energy-saving technology may be of interest to many businesses in the aviation parts industry, as they may be the source of new engine innovations.

Joining a trade association can promote common interests

What I’ve learned answers the inquiry question to what extent should competitors work together? as industry associations are formed because businesses from the same industry want to promote common interests. For example, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario commercial shown in class was not created by one business, but a trade association. Perhaps all the businesses in the association had experienced a drop in sales from younger customers and so collectively created a commercial that paints milk in a positive light, benefitting the entire industry. Another main reason is that as a collective group, the industry may have a more influential say in lobbying against the government. To illustrate, take the automobile industry—perhaps the government has introduced a new policy that encourages public transport and discourages automobiles—a trade association may be more capable of lobbying against the government than individual businesses.

This associates with what I’ve learned previously about factors that drive innovation, because often factors like new technology available and changes in government laws/regulations are discovered through trade associations. The various meetings, conferences, etc. offered by a trade association may be a means of transferring news, best practices, and policies that may affect the outlook of the entire industry.

Finally, I present to you the updated mind map with this unit’s concepts:

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Class presentation
Dairy Farmers of Ontario

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