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Article

Associations in Transition: The Business of Russian Civil Society

European Journal of International Management. 2019. Vol. 13. No. 5. P. 709-732.
Ivanova E., Maier M., Meyer M.

What characteristics of professional and business associations determine their organisational activities in the context of Russia's stage of transition? While research on associations in management and nonprofit literature remains under-theorised and fragmented, professional and business associations not only constitute a significant component of the Russian nonprofit sector, but also contribute to the institutional infrastructure of the emerging market economy. This paper investigates the influence of organisational determinants on the relative importance of advocacy, community building, and service delivery within professional and business associations. Data for this study were collected from 215 associations throughout Russia. The study verifies multifunctional nature of associations and confirms that advocacy remains the highest priority activity for associations embedded in the transitional environment. Applying Dirichlet regression, the study finds that organisational size and a specific agency type positively influences community building function. Moreover, our findings indicate that compulsory membership negatively affects service delivery and community building functions, whereas presence in social media has a positive effect on both of these functions fulfilled by Russian associations.