European Association Leadership Survey Results

Largest ever survey on the Leadership of European Business Associations

Together with my friends at E&A, I just launched the largest ever survey on the Leadership of European Business Associations. The survey was based on 150 interviews with four different groups: European association secretariat staff; members of European associations working in companies and national trade associations; and consultants specialising in association management. The interviews were held online between April and May 2012.

Having observed many underperforming and excellent associations over the years, the E&A survey confirmed that what differentiates them is the quality of the leadership, and in particular the Director-General in charge on a daily basis. Associations need strong leaders to set strategy and help find consensus between corporate members who compete with each other for market share, and national associations with very different cultures.

Brussels is home to some 1,500 European business associations that play a prominent role in EU public affairs. Of the 80 European business associations surveyed we found:

Of the 35 national association and corporate members surveyed:

Although members seem generally quite happy with the ability of European associations to deliver favourable EU policy outcomes, there are big expectations and disappointments around what they can do to improve industry reputation. Our survey showed that better and more regular communication with the media would be one easy win in this regard. Let me know if you would like a free copy of the E&A survey and I will email it to you.

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