Trade associations as corporate social responsibility actors: an institutional theory analysis of animal welfare in tourism
Most travel trade associations ignore their responsibility towards sustain-able development broadly and animal welfare in particular. We analyse the development and implementation of animal welfare standards across 62national and international associations using interviews, surveys, content analysis of published materials and websites. Only 21 associations mention sustainability in their websites, and only six refer to animal welfare. Of these, three associations have well-developed animal welfare activities (ABTA, ANVR and GSTC) [AQ1] and only one (lightly) monitors its members’ sustainability and animal welfare standards (ANVR). ABTA’s Animal Welfare Guidelines are the de facto industry standard, despite being designed for information (not auditing) purposes and lacking enforcement mechanisms.We examine jolts that prompt some associations to respond to externalpressures and the institutional entrepreneurship process that triggers aprocess of reflexivity, theorisation and diffusion of a broader sense ofresponsibility. We examine the field-level conditions that lead to mostlymimetic pressures on large European tour operators (that compel them toact due to reputational risk management), with minimal normative pres-sures that would diffuse animal welfare practices across other associationmembers. Change is not divergent, and the resources allocated to animalwelfare protect trade associations’members from criticism withoutbinding them to implementation.
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