Guest Editorial - Co-operation Between Canadian Universities and the Co-operative Sector

Claude-André Guillotte and Josée Charbonneau, pp. 3-4

Guest Editorial
Table of Contents


The university as a site of place-based entrepreneurship: The case of the Green Campus Co-operative.

Darryl Reed, pp. 5-16

In recent years, universities in Canada have been increasingly tasked with promoting entrepreneurship. There are three primary ways in which they have taken up this mandate. The initial impetus, going back some decades, focused on active participation by university researchers, often in collaboration with existing businesses, in developing new products and start-ups. These initiatives, drawing on government-supported research findings, were often seen as a basis for promoting regional economic development (Menzies, 2000). A second concern has involved the teaching of entrepreneurship, while a third approach has focused on supporting students and recent graduates to develop their own new start-ups (S et al., 2014). This paper examines the potential of the university to promote entrepreneurship in a rather different manner. Specifically, it examines the university as a site or “place” of social entrepreneurship, where the university community both provides the entrepreneurial talent and is also the primary beneficiary of the entrepreneurial activity. It investigates this prospect through the examination of a particular case, one which involves collective entrepreneurship and a co-operative business model.

Reed, D. (2021)

Mutual benefit and status quo processes as governance mechanisms in partnerships between organisations that belong to different sectors and organisational models.

Victoria Taras, pp. 17-30

Co-operatives are member-owned organisations that follow a set of Co-operative Principles. When they partner with non-co-operative organisations, they risk compromising those principles. However, when partner organisations share those principles in their approaches or aspirations, the partnership generates mutual benefit. Mutual benefit can act as a governance mechanism for the partnership; it promotes co-operation and co-ordination by bringing partners together, maintaining a cohesive strategic direction, and promoting a common vision of the future. Concern for the community, for example, is a co-operative principle but it is also a typical approach among non-co-operatives and the alignment can support the partnership. Close alignment generates a high level of mutual benefit, while broad alignment generates a low level and therefore acts as a weaker mechanism. This article examines the role of mutual benefit in partnerships between the healthcare co-operative Saskatoon Community Clinic (SCC) and several University of Saskatchewan colleges, schools, departments, and divisions. Through these partnerships, the SCC hosts healthcare clinics, specialist healthcare services, and student placements, and generates research. In these cases, co-operation and co-ordination are either supported by a high level of mutual benefit, rely on an available status quo procedure, or are minimised by low interdependence between partners.

Taras, V. (2021).

Humane alternatives: Co-operative education at Stony Mountain Institute.

Judith Harris and Tam Le, pp. 31-44

Although the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that education is a human right, there is limited access to university education at either provincial or federal carceral institutions in Canada. Inspired by the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Programme in the USA, the Walls to Bridges programme in Canada offers courses that bring campus enrolled and incarcerated students together to study behind the prison walls. In 2014, the University of Winnipeg faculty began teaching courses for credit at correctional facilities in the surrounding areas of Winnipeg as part of this programme. Two of the courses offered are focused on co-operatives. Based on a case study of higher education at Stony Mountain Institution (Manitoba), we support the claim that education on co-operatives in prison could shift the prison culture from “maintenance mode” to a “community correctional mode” and would facilitate the development of co-operatives that support people inside the prison and in the community, post-release.

Harris, J. & Le, T. (2021).

Lights, Camera, Revolution! Using Pedagogical Videos to Teach about Worker-Owned Co‑operatives in Business Schools.

Myriam Michaud and Luc K. Audebrand, pp. 45-61

Despite its advantages in terms of sustainable development, the co-operative business model is still little known and largely underestimated by the general population. Even in business schools, it is given scant attention, if any, in the curriculum. As a result, the co-operative model remains a‘hidden alternative’ for many students. In this article, we argue for a cross-disciplinary integration of the co‑operative model into introductory management courses. To show how such an integration is possible, we present the process by which a series of short educational videos on worker co‑operatives was created. We describe the different steps in creating this educational material, highlighting the collaboration between the academic and business communities in the creative process, and outline the advantages of the co-operative model for illustrating contemporary themes in various areas of management. In conclusion, this article offers a reflection on how an organisational model that at first glance appears ‘undervalued’ in the academy can prove to be a great resource for illustrating complex concepts, stimulating reflection, and initiating discussions on ‘alternative’ models.

Michaud, M., & Audebrand, L.K. (2021).


Free, Open Learning and Teaching Portal on Co-operatives.

Erin Hancock, pp 62-63

The Cooperative Educators Network (CENET — is a North American initiative launched in 2018. From 2016 to the launch, over 200 partners and participant organisations across several continents helped to develop this curated space for co-operative education resources. This short paper describes how works.

Hancock, E. (2021).


Boundary exploration: The entrepreneurial experiments of Fr. Greg MacLeod. By Harvey Johnstone 

Reviewed by John Simoulidis, pp. 64-67

Simoulidis, J. (2021).

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All works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, subject to a 6-month embargo from date of publication in the Journal

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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