Industry Associations as Facilitators of Social Capital: The Establishment and Early Operations of the Melbourne Wool Brokers Association

Business History, Vol. 50, No. 6, pp. 781-94, 2008

Posted: 22 Dec 2009

See all articles by David Merrett

David Merrett

University of Melbourne

Stephen L. Morgan

University of Nottingham - Nottingham University Business School; University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Faculty of Social Sciences

Simon Ville

University of Wollongong - School of Accounting, Economics & Finance

Date Written: November 1, 2008

Abstract

Relocation of the selling of Australia’s wool clip from London to cities in Australia in the late nineteenth century led to the creation of wool selling industry associations, such as the Melbourne Woolbrokers Association (MWA). Highly successful in fostering competitive collaboration that improved market efficiency, the Association rested on the social capital brought to it and further developed by the participants, individuals with extensive connections in the pastoral, banking and transport industries. The collective social capital vested in the Association enabled the earning of economic rents, firstly from the high trust created through internal cohesion reinforced by formalised sanctions, and secondly from a capacity to span ‘structural holes’ between networks outside of the Association.

Keywords: Australia, business associations, wool selling, social capital, business

JEL Classification: N87, Q13, D4, D7, D85

Suggested Citation

Merrett, David and Morgan, Stephen Lloyd and Ville, Simon, Industry Associations as Facilitators of Social Capital: The Establishment and Early Operations of the Melbourne Wool Brokers Association (November 1, 2008). Business History, Vol. 50, No. 6, pp. 781-94, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1526201

David Merrett (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Stephen Lloyd Morgan

University of Nottingham - Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Business School South
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
+44 115 82 32116 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Chinese/people/s.morgan

University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

199 Taikang East Road
Ningbo, Zhejiang 315100
China
+86 186-6780-2355 (Phone)

Simon Ville

University of Wollongong - School of Accounting, Economics & Finance ( email )

Wollongong, NSW 2522
Australia
+(02) 4221 3098 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uow.edu.au/commerce/econ/villes.html

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