A Niche Theory of Interest Representation

Author(s): Gray, Virginia; Lowery, David

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Abstract The theory of organizational niches may provide important bridging concepts upon which an integrated theory of interest groups might be developed. After discussing Hutchinson's (1957) n-dimensional niche concept, we develop several hypotheses about the reliance of interest organizations on multiple resource dimensions. These are tested with survey data on interest group leaders in the American states. On the basis of preliminary evidence of niche partitioning, we conclude that internal resource dimensions--exclusive access to members and finances--may be more critical than securing exclusive access to officials in a balkanized policy process in defining viable interest group niches. We conclude by outlining a research agenda using niche theory.
Publication Title The Journal of Politics
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Date 02/1996
URIs http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022381600043206
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2960350
http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcAuth=SerialsSolutions&SrcApp=Summon&KeyUT=A1996UA69200005&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=WOS
http://search.proquest.com/docview/208780957
Keywords GOVERNMENT
Interest Groups
Organizational behavior
POLITICAL SCIENCE
Political activity
Political aspects
Pressure groups
Representation
Representative government and representation
Research
SIZE
Theory
article
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