Co-operative identity

Somerville, Peter (2007) Co-operative identity. Journal of Co-operative Studies, 40 (1). pp. 5-17. ISSN 0961-5784

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Official URL: http://www.co-opstudies.org/Journal.htm

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the concept of co-operative identity. Co-operatives are claimed to have distinct values and institutional forms, different from private corporations, public bodies and 'non-profits' or charities. Essentially, however, co-operatives are member-owned, democratically controlled enterprises. Over the years, it appears that they tend to lose their distinct identity (the so-called 'degeneration thesis'). This paper looks at why this occurs and how the distinct identity of co-operatives can be sustained. It points to the growth, in recent years, of community organisations that do not call themselves co-operatives but nevertheless can be argued to exhibit a co-operative identity. It concludes by suggesting that the experience of these 'community co-operatives' may contain lessons for the co-operative movement.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the concept of co-operative identity. Co-operatives are claimed to have distinct values and institutional forms, different from private corporations, public bodies and 'non-profits' or charities. Essentially, however, co-operatives are member-owned, democratically controlled enterprises. Over the years, it appears that they tend to lose their distinct identity (the so-called 'degeneration thesis'). This paper looks at why this occurs and how the distinct identity of co-operatives can be sustained. It points to the growth, in recent years, of community organisations that do not call themselves co-operatives but nevertheless can be argued to exhibit a co-operative identity. It concludes by suggesting that the experience of these 'community co-operatives' may contain lessons for the co-operative movement.
Keywords:identity, co-operative identity, community co-operatives, co-operatives movement, community organisations
Subjects:L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:3115
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:30 Jul 2010 13:25
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:30

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