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

Peer reviewed papers

The Role of Co-operative Loans in Rural Finance: Evidence from Ogun State, Nigeria

Onafowokan Oluyombo, pp. 5-15

This paper examines how loans made by co-operative societies in rural areas meet the financial needs of their members and, by extension, the role of the co-operative lending in rural finance. The study makes use of primary data from nine focus group discussions comprising seventy two members selected randomly from twelve co-operatives in six local government areas. Data was analysed using tables of numbers and percentages, content analysis and quotations from participants. The study found that the financial needs of the members were met through loan granting at reduced interest rates without the pledging of fixed and financial assets as collateral. The low interest rate on loans reduces the likelihood of members patronising money lenders and of possible loan defaults. The personal guarantor arrangement greatly enhanced the inter-personal relationship among members enabling them to provide support to members in trouble and reducing their individual poverty level. However, there may be need for emergency loans that can be repaid over a longer period of time to ease the financial burden of the members and enhance social and financial capital.

Oluyombo, 2013

Co-operatives in the Retail Sector: Can One Label Fit All?

Eric Calderwood and Keri Davies, pp. 16-31

Studies of the development and strategic approaches of co-operative retailers have tended to focus on the tension between management styles, given labels such as ‘traders’ and ‘idealists,’ and the ways in which co-operatives then deal with their members. Most issue a general call for the greater integration of co-operative values and principles into strategic behaviour. However, these approaches often overlook the variety of organisational forms adopted by co-operative retailers and the effect that these have on their operations and their focus on co-operative principles. Thus, the needs and expectations of members will vary significantly between consumer co-operatives, worker co-operatives and retailer-sponsored co-operatives. Large co-operative retailers also have to deal with the expectations of non-members who will make up a major proportion of their customer base. To provide a basis for the discussion of different strategies in the retail sector, a typology of co‑operative retail forms is proposed.

Calderwood and Davies, 2014

Shorter papers

Bringing Rationality to Organisations: The implications for co-operative and mutual enterprises

Edgar Parnell, pp. 32-37

Five years ago I commenced a personal project to review a lifetime of work with co-operatives and mutuals, encompassing many different forms and within many countries. My initial object was to seek to discover what lessons my experiences could provide in terms of identifying and removing the main impediments to the development and growth of co-operatives and mutuals; this with a view to passing on this information to current and future generations. However, as my analysis progressed and once I began to scrutinise the wide range of other organisations1 that I had been involved with during the course of my career, I came to realise that many of the barriers to progress also hampered the effectiveness of all manner of organisations. In this short paper I share some of the most significant findings of my study, especially the implications of my conclusions for co-operatives and mutuals.

Parnell, 2013

Capital: Foundations for New Growth in Co-operatives

Linda Barlow, pp. 38-40

This short article is a reflection on the lecture given by Ian Snaith during Co-operative Fortnight and outlining the basic rules of capital within co operatives registered as industrial and provident societies (IPSs). It sets out the differences between the share capital available for co-operatives and the share capital of companies limited by shares and examines the value of potential capital injection from what are known as ‘non-user investor members’ and recent developments. It also looks at how Co‑operatives UK in partnership with its members is developing a self-help approach to work with, learn from, and support those that are using share capital to own and run co-operative businesses.

Barlow, 2013

Book reviews

Co-operatives and the Social Question: The Co-operative Movement in Northern and Eastern Europe (1880-1950). By Mary Hilson, Pirjo Markkola and Ann-Catrin Östman 

Reviewed by Dr Naděžda Johanisova, pp 41-43

The Co-operative Revolution: A Graphic Novel. By Polyp for The Co-operative Group. 

Reviewed by Rosa Cato, pp. 44-45

150 Years of Co-operation in Lincolnshire. By Alan Middleton. 

Reviewed by Nick Matthews, pp. 46-47

Co-operative Enterprise: Facing the Challenge of Globalisation. By Stefano Zamagni & Vera Zamagni. 

Reviewed by Nick Matthews, pp. 48-49

Reviews - 137, 2013
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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