Module 2: Governance and Leadership in Member Owned Businesses

Module Description:

This module examines the specific challenges facing the board and executive management of a co-operative or mutual enterprise. In particular, the module addresses the issue of managing within a democratic organisation. Key factors explored are the three interconnected tensions facing board members representing the interests of members, managing controlled growth and supporting executive managers. Attention is given to theories of Agency, Stewardship, Stakeholder, Resource Dependency and Managerial Hegemony to understand the tensions faced by Boards and Executive Managers within co-operative and mutual enterprises. Also examined will be the role of the cooperative as a coalition or strategic network and the dynamics of managing within such organisations. Case studies are used to guide the learning process.

Learning Objectives:

Managers who complete this module should be able to:
  1. Understand and demonstrate knowledge of the theory, nature and implications of governance within member owned businesses.
  2. Examine different types of member control within member owned businesses and the implications this has on board structure, articles of constitution and bylaws.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities and duties of directors of member owned businesses and the differences between governance in these and other types of organisations (e.g. investor, owned, and not-for-profit enterprises).
  4. Examine their own organisation’s governance and board structure and critically assess its strengths and weaknesses with a view to identifying areas for improvement.

Lecture Notes and Readings: