Editorial - Paul A. Jones, pp. 3-4
Table of Contents

Peer reviewed papers

Key Performance Indicators in Co-operatives: Directions and Principles 

Louis Beaubien and Daphne Rixon, pp. 5-15

This paper examines the performance benchmarks adopted by co-operatives in the insurance sector. The research is conducted through a case study comprised of a documentary review and semi-structured interviews with two large North American insurance co-operatives. The research found that the insurance co-operatives use benchmarks that are developed for investor-owned companies to evaluate their performance. Furthermore, the measures used by insurance co-operatives reflect relatively little consideration of the co-operative principles and values and there is no comparison to other insurance co-operatives. Given the recent challenges in the financial services sector, coupled with increasing stakeholder expectations for performance reporting, it is timely to conduct this study.

Beaubien and Rixon, 2012

Trust Universities? Governance for Post-Capitalist Futures 

 Rebecca Boden, Penelope Ciancanelli and Susan Wright, pp. 16-24

Using the UK as an example, this paper argues that universities are exposed to governance hazards as a result of ambiguity of ownership. These hazards include the appropriation of academic resources for managerial gain at the expense of social interests. To address this risk we draw upon existing alternative governance models and propose the creation of Trust Universities. These would make universities irrevocably part of the knowledge commons, vest beneficial ownership and control in students and all employees and help prevent excessive managerial predation. Systems of accountability and regulation would help rebuild mutually beneficial compacts both internally and with the surrounding society.

Boden et al., 2012

An Analysis of Dairy Farmer Participation in Co-operatives in the Northeast United States  

Sanjib Bhuyan, pp.25-41

Agricultural co-operatives play an important role in the economy of the United States. Some of the most well-known consumer brands are owned by farmer co-operatives, eg, Ocean Spray, Welch’s. Dairy production is a major agricultural enterprise in the Northeast US and most dairy farmers in this region rely on dairy co-operatives to market their milk. This study examines why some dairy farmers decide to sell their milk through co-operatives (this group is defined as ‘participants’) while some do not do so (this group is defined as ‘non-participants’). We also examine these groups to understand their key differences in terms of various characteristics, such as farm operation and management as well as farmers’ education and age. Finally, we identify and analyse the factors that impact dairy farm profitability for all dairy farmers and co-operative participants in the region. The study objectives were fulfilled by conducting various statistical and econometric analyses using the farm financial and operations data obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The results of this study are expected to benefit dairy producers, agricultural extension agents, co-operative management, educators and practitioners.

Bhuyan, 2012

The Developmental Movement Model: A Contribution to the Social Movement Approach to Co-operative Development

Mitch Diamantopoulos

This article expands the conceptual repertoire of the social movement approach to co‑operative development. It critiques market-focused and policy-focused approaches to co‑operative development, arguing that neither accords a central role to democratic association and action. To illuminate this blind spot, ideal-types of a ‘frozen’ and ‘developmental’ movement are proposed. This continuum of development action further establishes the range – and difficulties – of movement-driven economic action. Similarly, the frozen movement ideology of ‘business co-operation’ is contrasted with the developmental movement ideology of ‘social co-operation.’ It is argued that business co‑operation both reflects and reinforces co-operative movement degeneration – the tendency of movements to lose democratic vitality and development focus and ‘freeze-up’ as they mature. This is contrasted with the potential of ‘social co-operation’ to drive democratic regeneration and the achievement of developmental movements. Finally, the case of co‑operative ambulance conversions in the Canadian province of Québec provides an empirical illustration of the model.

Diamantopoulos, 2012

Shorter papers

Financial Capability and Psychological Well-Being. A Cluster Analysis of Credit Union Members

Gregory M Sheen, pp. 57-61 

This paper provides evidence on the interrelationships between particular domains of financial capability and psychological well-being amongst a sample of 1,600 adult credit union members in the USA. The findings suggest that members who appear to have lower financial capability are also likely to seem less happy, more stressed and have poorer general health and less self-efficacy. The paper highlights the role of credit unions in improving and maintaining members’ financial capability and psychological well-being.

Sheen, 2012

Book reviews

The Road to Co-operation. By Gordon Pearson. Reviewed by Robin Murray, pp. 62-63

Democratic Enterprise: Ethical Business for the 21st Century. By Diarmuid McDonnell, Elizabeth MacKnight and Hugh Donnelly. Reviewed by Rory Ridley-Duff, pp. 63-64

Towards Contemporary Co-operative Studies: Perspectives from Japan’s Consumer Co-ops. Edited and published by the Consumer Co-operative Institute of Japan. Reviewed by Nick Matthews, pp. 65-67

Co-operative Societies in North Lancashire and South Cumbria. By Robin Martakies. Reviewed by Chris Hart, pp. 67-68

Reviews - 135, 2012
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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