Trade associations are commonly defined as “organizations created to represent business interests within specific domains, mobilizing firms within their domain so that collective action can be taken on common problems” (Aldrich & Staber, 1988, p. 111).
Staber and Aldrich (1983) distinguished four trade association “activity areas: commercial, public, political, and solidaristic” (p. 168).
Barnett, M. 2012. One Voice, But Whose Voice? Exploring What Drives Trade Association Activity. Business & Society 52,(2), pp.213–244.
See also Kellow, 2013 on the Mining Industry.
Also, Bell, S. 2006. A Victim of Its Own Success: Internationalization, Neoliberalism, and Organizational Involution at the Business Council of Australia. Politics and Society, Vol. 34, (4),pp.543-70.
Which references Coleman’s work on neoliberalism and trade assocs, and uses the Schmitter and Streek distinction of a “logic of membership” and a “logic of influence”