Collective action: A greater impact by working together

Alone, individuals and even companies wield little power to make any significant change. However, when these individuals or companies come together to campaign for a common goal, they are taking part in collective action. Collective action has much more impact than the sum of its part acting alone. This case study looks at why people and companies take part in collective action, and what the benefits for those taking part are.


 Explores the ways and means that collective action can benefit companies and individuals

 Examines the issues that can be addressed with collective action

 Looks at individual collective action, its benefits, and real-life successes

Reasons to buy

What is collective action?

How might companies and individuals benefit from collective action?

What are they ways companies and individuals can take part in different forms of collective action?

Has collective action had any successes?

Companies mentioned


Table of Contents




Collective action helps individuals reach a common goal

Collective action is used to help a group of individuals reach a common goal

Free-market capitalism has contributed to various environmental issues

Market force is a strong factor in enacting environmental and ethical change

Collective action brings advantages to companies

Benefits include access to information, mutual support, and improved bargaining power

Collective action often has an indirect effect on company revenues

Being perceived as an ethical company can help attract talent, motivate employees, and attract consumers

Non-monetary benefits

Improved reputation and public perception can positively influence sales

Companies can improve their workforce

Companies should aim at millennial, but must take care to be genuine

Businesses can exert a huge amount of influence when working together

Sustainability and environmental issues lend themselves well to collective action

Sustainability requires cooperation to make an impact

Ineffective climate negotiations by governments

Collective action can be a powerful tool to combat corruption

Corruption prevention is typically aimed at the public sector, but private companies are also affected by corruption 17

Companies can reduce corruption in a number of ways

There are various ways in which companies can signal their collective support about an issue

Open letters are quick and easy, and there is some evidence of success

Companies have joined numerous initiatives to improve energy use

Businesses may also team up with governments

Consumer collective action includes boycotts and petitions

Collective action lends credibility, support, and motivation

Boycotts are a simple way of registering disapproval

Boycotts are numerous and target various issues

Boycotts target companies, and can have limited success

Successful boycotts use a variety of tactics

Petitions are quick, easy, and have had some success

There are a number of petitions platforms

Petitions can make a difference but they don’t necessarily guarantee success

People sign petitions because they want to make a change and lend support to an issue


Collective action is a strong force for change



Ask the analyst

About MarketLine


List of Tables


List of Figures

Figure 1: Martin Luther King waves to supporters at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963

Figure 2: Global CO2 emissions, 1990-2010

Figure 3: The Mayor’s Summit at the Paris Climate Summit, December 4 2015

Figure 4: Corruption word list

Figure 5: Carbon pricing initiatives' share of global emissions, 1990-2018

Figure 6: H&M commits to Green peace's Detox campaign

Figure 7: Part of Ryan Air’s banned Red Hot ad campaign

Figure 8: 38 Degrees’ info graphic exploring Save our Forests’ campaign success


Discounts available for multiple report purchases.
+44 (0) 161 359 5817

Saved reports