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n Journal of Contemporary Management - Increasing the organisational effectiveness of professional associations in South Africa
Professionals, such as accountants and lawyers, and their professional associations (PAs), serve organisations such as business firms, educational institutions courts of law. Without professional associations, these organisations and the economy would not operate effectively.
PAs are regularly confronted by rapid and unpredictable changes (for example, in labour and company legislation), which require them to adapt quickly in order to provide relevant services to their members. Globalisation compels professionals in companies to be more innovative in delivering goods and services to local and international markets. If PAs do not grow and are not effectively and efficiently run, businesses, society and the economy will suffer. On a sample of 32 senior officials of 25 South African PAs, this study investigates how membership growth in PAs can be achieved and how their organisational effectiveness can be improved.
The empirical results show that being an effective learning organisation (ELO) and membership growth are important measures of a PA's organisational effectiveness. The results revealed that access to funding correlated positively with a PA being an ELO, while membership growth is driven by a PA's competitive characteristics and it being an ELO and a first-mover in its industry.
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