Editorial - P.A. Jones, 2010
Table of Contents

Refereed Articles

Collective entrepreneurship and the producer-owned co-operative

Jos Bijman and Bart Doorneweert, pp. 5-16.

Entrepreneurship is predominantly associated with the activities of an individual agent – the entrepreneur. It has also been related to the concept of firm ownership. This may lead to the conjecture that a firm that is collectively owned is a setting for collective entrepreneurship. However, such reasoning encounters a number of taxing questions. If entrepreneurship is usually related to the individual, how does the collective embody entrepreneurial spirit and lead to effective outcomes? These and other questions will be addressed in this paper, which is mainly based on a review of the literature. The paper starts by providing an overview of the different schools of (economic) thought on entrepreneurship. Subsequently it discusses implications for the conceptualisation of entrepreneurship when it is carried out by a group of firms who jointly own another firm, for instance in a joint-venture. Finally, the notion of collective entrepreneurship will be framed within the context of the producer-owned firm, by considering institutional conditions under which it can be attributed to the agricultural co-operative.

Bijman and Doorneweert, 2011

Trust-creating Social Networks in Forest Owners’ Choice of Trading Partners  

John Enander, Andreas Melin and Jerker Nilsson, pp. 17-28.

This study investigates the role of social networks when producers choose between selling their commodities to a co-operative firm or an investor-owned firm. The empirical basis is personal interviews with ten forest owners, five co-operative suppliers and five IOF suppliers. The findings indicate that forest owners influence each other as to choice of buyer, and that the social influences are stronger among co-operative suppliers than among suppliers to investor-owned buyers. The influences from the forest owners’ parents are very strong. Most remarkable is that the buying firms’ representatives have a high level of influence.

Enander, Melin and Nilsson, 2011

Retaining Creativity in Large Co-operatives by Timely Democratic Succession of Leaders

Reuven Shapira, pp. 29-40.

Maintaining co-operative principles in large successful co-operatives requires creativity engendered by high moral trusted innovative leaders who avoid capitalist practices. However, if such leaders are not replaced within 10 to16 years, they usually enter conservative dysfunction phase, suppress creativity, concealing and camouflaging introduction of capitalist practices by various excuses and covert abuse of power in order to become irreplaceable oligarchs. As no true solution has been devised for this problem as yet while confusing trust and leadership literatures helped failures to cope with it, new ideas for timely democratic succession are offered based on anthropological and historical studies of kibbutzim and inter-kibbutz co-operatives.

Shapira, 2010

Short articles

Co-operatives and Poverty Reduction: Findings from a Research

Richard Simmons and Johnston Birchall, pp. 43-46.

This article reports on the findings of a two and a half year study to investigate the role and potential of co-operatives in poverty reduction. It follows an earlier article in this journal where we outlined the research agenda on these important issues (Birchall & Simmons, 2007), and is based on a longer report published by the Co-operative College (Birchall & Simmons, 2009). The article suggests that co-operatives have significant potential for poverty reduction relative to other types of organisation, and that many co-operatives are currently helping their members to achieve more than they could on their own. It also suggests that with the right kind of support co-operatives are capable of increasing the help they are able to offer their members to escape from poverty.

Simmons and Birchall, 2010

Co-opted Housing or Housing Co-operative? A Role Beyond the State for Mutual Housing Solutions 

Rob Rowlands, pp. 47-48.

With the growth in popular and political interest in mutual and co-operative structures this paper considers the case of housing. By revisiting co-operative history the paper provides as a basis for development the guiding principle of collective self-help. It argues that if mutualism is to play a role in developing new solutions to housing problems there is a need to develop new models in partnership with unlikely bedfellows.

Rowlands, 2010.

Thoughts on the Formula for Co-operation 

Britta Werner, pp. 49-50.

Can co-operation be explained in a formula? Can businesses use a formula to increase co-operation? Ian McDermott, Jason Miller and Ed Mayo came up with the following: Sc * (Ci + Mt) = Co. This article shows how this formula can be used within a worker co-operative. However, this article is also meant to stimulate a discussion about the elements of this formula and if there is not one main element missing, namely communication.

Werner, 2010.

Book Reviews

Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital. By John Restakis.

Reviewed by Nick Matthews, pp. 51-53

Co-operative Banking: Innovations and Developments. Edited by Alessandro Carretta, Paola Schwizer and Vittorio Boscia.

Co-operative Banking in Europe: Case Studies. Edited by Vittorio Boscia, Alessandro Carretta and Paola Schwizer.

Reviewed by Johnston Birchall, pp. 54-55.

The Right to Learn: the WEA in the North of England 1910-2010. Edited by Jonathan Brown.

Reviewed by Molly Scott Cato, pp. 56

Reviews - 2010: Matthews; Birchall; Scott Cato.
UK Society for Co-operative Studies is registered in England and Wales as a charitable incorporated organisation Number 1175295. Our registered office is Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS.
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