Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The role of cooperative and social enterprises: A multifaceted approach for an economic pluralism

Contents:

Author Info

  • Carlo Borzaga
  • Sara Depedri
  • Ermanno Tortia

Abstract

he role of cooperative and social enterprises in contemporary market economies has been downplayed and marginalised to date by the dominant economic approaches. This insufficient attention (Kalmi, 2008 su Cambridge Journal of Economics) derives from the limited applicability of the main assumptions of microeconomic to the case of cooperative and social enterprises. We mainly refer to models. the assumption of self-seeking individuals and of profit maximisation as the only possible firm objective. The mismatch between theoretical assumptions and empirical evidence has led to the underestimation of the growth potential, weight and role of cooperative and social enterprises. We maintain that the improvement of the scientific understanding of cooperative and social enterprises requires to enlarge and deepen the assumption of the relevant theoretical models. Individuals cannot be characterised any more as purely self-interested. Instead, the importance of motivational complexity, and the diverse nature of preferences needs to be introduced in the model as suggested by the behavioural approach. Furthermore, firms cannot be interpreted any more in an exclusive way as profit maximizers. They are instead coordination mechanisms of the economic activity, as suggested by the evolutionary approach. To this end they develop specific organisational routines, and their objectives can be diverse, ranging from purely private appropriation, to mutual benefit based on reciprocity, to public benefit aim supported by other-regarding preferences. (Le teorie economiche dominanti, ed in particolare l’approccio ortodosso e quello neo-istituzionalista, hanno sottostimato e marginalizzato il ruolo delle cooperative e delle imprese sociali nei mercati economici contemporanei. L’insufficiente attenzione a queste organizzazioni deriva principalmente dall’impossibilità di applicare ad esse le assunzioni principali della teoria microeconomica ortodossa, ossia la presenza di individui auto-interessati e di organizzazioni che puntino solo alla massimizzazione del profitto. Anche la teoria neo-istituzionalista non riesce a spiegare la presenza e la crescita del ruolo ricoperto da cooperative e imprese sociali. Per questa ragione, il presente paper è volto a dimostrare come, per spiegare il ruolo di cooperative ed imprese sociali da un punto di vista scientifico, i principali modelli teorici economici debbano essere estesi. Innanzitutto, tanto gli individui quanto le istituzioni non possono essere più assunti come soggetti meramente egoistici, ma ne vanno studiate la complessità motivazionale e le strutture di preferenze, così come proposto dalla teoria comportamentale (behavioural economics). Inoltre, le imprese devono essere concepite come meccanismi di coordinamento delle attività economiche, come suggerito dall’approccio evoluzionista, e devono quindi esserne analizzate le specifiche routine organizzative sviluppate al loro interno e gli obiettivi organizzativi, i quali possono variare tra gli interessi di appropriazione privata dei profitti ed obiettivi pro-sociali sostenuti da preferenze altruistiche.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.euricse.eu/sites/euricse.eu/files/db_uploads/documents/1269529638_n360.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises) in its series Euricse Working Papers with number 0900.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpeu:0900

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Via S.Giovanni 36 - 38122 Trento (TN)
Phone: +39 0461 882289
Fax: +39 0461 882294
Email:
Web page: http://www.euricse.eu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Cooperatives; social enterprises; organizational pluralism; economic theories;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Vera Negri Zamagni, 2012. "Interpreting the Roles and Economic Importance of Cooperative Enterprises in a Historical Perspective," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 1(1), pages 21-36, December.
  2. Vera Negri Zamagni, 2011. "The Co-operative Enterprise: A Remaining of the Past or a Proposal for a Better Society?," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, June.
  3. Silvia Sacchetti & Ermanno C. Tortia, 2010. "A NEW FRAMEWORK FOR THE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF COOPERATIVE FIRMS: Self-defined rules, common resources, motivations, and incentives," Econometica Working Papers wp21, Econometica.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trn:utwpeu:0900. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sara Depedri).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.