Cultivating small business influence in the UK: the federation of small businesses' journey from outsider to insider
Henry Stewart Publications
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of International, Cultural and Community Studies
This case study charts the classic transformation of a small business organisation from being a vehicle of protest that attracted a reasonable but transient membership into a much larger group with a more stable membership and a group with an effective insider policy style. The paper asserts that the change in style and the change in recruiting success are not causally linked, and, indeed, it claims that an insider style may harm recruiting. In the case of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), however, any potential damage through adopting an insider style was more than offset by the separate decision to market the group door to door with a package of selective material incentives (Olson 1965). The paper describes the predominant insider politics style of political representation and finds that while the FSB has moved in that direction, it does not fully fit the stereotype.