Essay On Business Groups & Impacts
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Business groups are interest groups that consist of individuals who share common interests and therefore make efforts to work together and promote those interests by influencing government decisions. These groups vary to a great extent in terms of size, tactics as well as aims. Business groups are economic interest groups since their main objective is to achieve economic advantages for their members (Needle, 2010, p.117). In other words, economic groups work towards the achievement of private goods, which are essentially benefits which are enjoyed by members of the group exclusively. For instance, if a business group enters into a contract, only members of the group benefit from the contract while non members are not considered. As compared to other interest groups, business groups are the most powerful. This conclusion can be drawn due to a number of reasons, which will be discussed in this paper.
It is first important to note that business groups are the most common kind of interest groups. This is evident from the fact that more than half of all registered lobbyist are in the employ of business groups (Watts, 2007, p.247). In most cases, business groups are formed in order within an industry in order to push the interests of their members and reap more profits. Probably the main reason why business groups are the most powerful interest groups is the fact that they have more than enough of the resources needed to fund their campaigns, while other interest groups generally depend on donations from individuals who support their cause.
Since business groups are well funded, they are therefore very powerful. Successful interest groups are measured based on the power they exert where their interests lie. This power is determined based on how an interest group affects government policy or the ideological effect that they have on the people. Business groups are by far the most powerful interest groups since they lead in all factors to be considered while assessing power of various interest groups. These include funds, size, organization and leadership, support from the public, government opinion, as well as the effectiveness of the competition.
Business groups are easily the most powerful since the money factor beats all the other factors of power. The government does not fail to listen to business groups since they have financial and economic power which directly affects the economy (Fitzgerald, 2006, p.119). Therefore, business groups derive their power from the fact that they are a main source of investment and employment in the economy. Because of this, regardless of the ideological notions of the government in power, the government has to seek out the support and cooperation of the business groups. In addition to this, business groups use their large amount of funding to hire efficient leaders, most of who are usually former politicians who are able to easily sway the government owing from their experience.
This factor makes business groups more powerful than all other interest groups since they are led by individuals who are equally powerful. On the other hand, other interest groups are generally led by individuals who are remote from the powerful groups and as a result are not favored by the government. Lack of adequate funding also means that most other interest groups advocate for a single issue only or go silent for a long time, only to surface to protest against a specific policy proposal. Unlike business groups, they are unable to command the attention of senior government officials with a sense of legitimacy. Business groups are able to establish personal contact with these government officials, influential journalists and media stations, and carry out impressive campaigns. In addition to this, their extensive resources may also allow them to even draft legislation and simply gain the support of a powerful politician. On the other hand, other interest groups which do not have this sort of funding have to resort to underhand tactics or in other words somewhat guerilla tactics such as demonstrations which eventually bear not fruit.
Size is another factor to be considered while comparing the power of various interest groups. Most pluralist theorists are of the opinion that the bigger the group then the more powerful its. The reasoning here is that large groups may be an indication of public opinion and more funding. Business groups are generally made up of a large number of businesses which therefore command the year of the government. For instance, if a business group has the support of the public, the government is bound to listen since this can be construed to have an electoral impact. In addition to this, the larger the business group, the more funding that it obtains from its members. The size of most business groups, coupled by economic power, means that business groups are extremely powerful.
The ideological opinions of the government also play an important role in determining how powerful an interest group is. The government usually tends to be more cooperative with business groups. Business groups are able to hire the best individuals to petition the government because of their resources (Goldstein, 1999, p.201). For instance, business groups may hire former politicians in order to facilitate interests which may clash fundamentally with the ideological views of the government. However, other business groups are unable to bring about any meaningful changes since they may be unable to identify with various attitude and values that the government holds. Therefore, business groups are more influential, which translates to more power as compared to other interest groups.
Effectiveness of the opposition is also put into consideration while weighing the power of the various kinds of interest groups. All interest groups may be successful or not, not because of the amount of resources that they possess, but because of the forces which oppose them. Various interest groups regularly clash since there are those which are bound to have similar opposing interests. For instance, trade unions have for many years now suffered from the fact that business groups have various advantages over them. Business groups have a number of structural advantages over the trade unions, more specifically because of the role that they play in the economy. Business groups are well structured and are more effective when it comes to pushing for their interests since they are both stable and cohesive while carrying out their business. It is for this reason that business groups are more powerful than other interest groups.
Another factor worth taking note of is organization of business groups. The most powerful interest groups are the most successful ones. The success of an interest group is in many ways determined its level of organization. Organization is imperative since it enables interest groups to mobilize their resources more efficiently and take calculated action. It is also a fact that some interest groups are easier to organize in comparison to others. In this particular case, it is easier to organize producers than consumers. It is for this particular reason that interest groups tend to be more powerful compared to cause groups. This essentially means that business groups are easier to organize compared to say trade unions. Business groups have the ability to sway policy in a fast and effective manner (Deegan, 2001, p.65). On the other hand, other interest groups usually tend to be scattered with supporters being very difficult to locate or even identify.
It is particularly important to note that effective organization requires financial resources. This means that the best organized interest groups are those that are the wealthiest. Business groups are able to organize themselves quickly and efficiently because of the vast resources that they have access to. Good organization also goes hand in hand with good leadership. Good leaders (who are characteristic of business groups), give business groups a number of advantages over other groups. These include excellent political skills and contacts, and outstanding presentational skills. Good leadership in business groups enables them to successfully push their agendas.
In conclusion, business groups are the most powerful interest groups since they are well funded. Throughout history, business groups have been by far the most successful interest groups since they have been very influential in pushing the interest of private companies as well as big corporations. As discussed in this paper, the power of business groups can be determined to be greater than those of other interest groups by analyzing various factors such as funding, organization, size, and government opinion. Therefore, it can be determined that business groups are the most powerful interest groups.
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