About the research
The rise of social media hasn't diminished the importance of physical member networks like regional branches or special interest groups. We investigated key issues professional bodies face when managing their member networks, with the support of our own member organisations.
We focused on the practical aspects of running member networks: how networks are structured, managed, funded, supported and used. We focused especially on how volunteers are trained and managed.
This research project was supported by six of our members:
- Chartered Institute of Building
- Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
- Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development
- Chartered Quality Institute
- Institute of Physics
- Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
How did we carry out the project?
We carried out surveys and interviews asking questions like:
- How autonomous are your groups and branches?
- What problems arise with identity and control?
- How are your groups and branches financed?
- How does technology impact on member networks?
- How central are these networks to the work of your organisation?
- How do these networks feed back into the organisation and its governance?
We selected case studies and compared them with key trends tracked over a decade.