Co-operative enterprise: a discussion paper and literature review

TitleCo-operative enterprise: a discussion paper and literature review
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2009
Tertiary AuthorsMazzarol, T
PublisherCentre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation
TypeIndustry Research Report
Keywordsbusiness model, Co-operatives, literature review

Cooperatives WA commissioned this discussion paper as a preliminary investigation into the cooperative business model and its relevance within the twenty-first century. Predominately a review of the literature, this study examines the current state of play pertaining to the cooperatives movement at an international level, while placing the cooperative business model within its historical and regional context. It focuses on six units of analysis: 1. The validity of the cooperative business model in the 21st Century; 2. Member value creation and recognition within the cooperative; 3. Supply chain management and strategic networking within cooperatives; 4. Cooperative leadership and corporate governance; 5. The cooperative as a mechanism for regional economic development; and 6. The financial structure and funding of the cooperative business model.

Each of these six units of analysis has a set of specific research questions which this discussion paper will attempt to address. However, the purpose of this initial study is not to answer all questions in a comprehensive manner, but to identify the current state of knowledge relating to these issues, and to provide recommendations for future research. The aim of this is discussion paper is to provide a framework for the development of academic study into the field of the cooperative business model. In doing so, it also seeks to stimulate debate within academic circles, the cooperatives movement and the wider community over the future of the cooperative as a legitimate business model.