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Cooperatives in transition

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  • Nilsson, Lovisa
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    Abstract

    The aim of this thesis was to explore the relations and perspectives that members have on the cooperatives they patron. Agricultural cooperatives in the Swedish tradition have often been multipurpose cooperatives, thus serving farmers with a heterogeneous background. For this to be successful, it has been important to educate members and to develop the trust between members and other actors in the cooperative. In a merged cooperative, trust and heterogeneity may influence the uncertainty that the cooperative faces before the new organizational structure has been imposed. Thus the first paper in this thesis explores how trust among actors is developed and maintained after a merger, by analyzing the role member representatives has in mediating between members and managers. The second paper covers how heterogeneity in farmers' backgrounds may influence their heterogeneity in preferences for a reallocation of equity. The first paper shows that member representatives have a leadership authority that managers use for getting information accepted by members. The second paper shows that members in a cooperative have different perspectives on the cooperative depending on whether they have a high level of investments or a high level of patronage. The conclusions of the two papers are that member representatives are important in mediating information in a cooperative, possibly because of the face-to-face communication they have with both members and managers. And the different perspectives that members have on their cooperative may be explained by the heterogeneity in preferences that they have.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics publications with number 2296.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:sua:ekonwp:2296

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