Professional associations and members' benefits: what's in It for me?
Ford, Robert C.
Dickson, Duncan R.
Bohn, Thomas M.
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Markova, G., Ford, R. C., Dickson, D. R. and Bohn, T. M. (2013), Professional Associations and Members' Benefits: What's in It for Me?. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 23: 491–510
In this study we examine reasons that professionals become and remain members of professional associations. We looked at tangible and symbolic benefits that an association can provide to attract members. Satisfaction with these benefits was linked to overall membership satisfaction and intent to renew the membership. We also considered the role of customer service in shaping members' attitudes. Based on the responses of 1,980 members of a large international accounting association, we found that members who were satisfied with their benefits and with the quality of customer service reported higher membership satisfaction and intent to renew. We also found that professionals who were more involved in the association were more satisfied with it. Contrary to predictions, younger professionals were less concerned with the value of the benefits of membership. As expected, longer-tenured members were more likely to consider maintaining their memberships. We conclude with a discussion of practical and research implications for the management of professional associations.
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