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Governance in Democratic Member-Based Organisations


  • Roger Spear


This paper considers issues of governance in democratic member-based organisations (DMOs), such as co-operatives and mutual societies. It examines the processes whereby members' interests are mediated through the democratic process, and the board; and it explores some of the factors influencing the power of managers. It goes on to argue that the system of governance in DMOs in their institutional context runs the risks of managers becoming powerful and entrenched in poorly performing social economy organisations, unless countervailing measures are adopted. Copyright CIRIEC, 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Spear, 2004. "Governance in Democratic Member-Based Organisations," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(1), pages 33-60, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:75:y:2004:i:1:p:33-60

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Cooperatives vs. Outside Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
    3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1996. "The Governance of Exchanges: Members' Cooperatives versus Outside Ownership," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 53-69, Winter.
    4. Jonathan Levin, 2002. "A Theory of Partnerships," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000002, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    6. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2001. "The Hold-up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-17, January.
    7. Bonin, John P & Jones, Derek C & Putterman, Louis, 1993. "Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Producer Cooperatives: Will Ever the Twain Meet?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1290-1320, September.
    8. Michael Kremer, 1997. "Why are Worker Cooperatives So Rare?," NBER Working Papers 6118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mihai Varzaru & Anca Antoaneta Varzaru, 2013. "Knowledge Management And Organisational Structure Design Process," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 2(15), pages 1-35.
    2. Wim Fonteyne, 2007. "Cooperative Banks in Europe—Policy Issues," IMF Working Papers 07/159, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Silvia Sacchetti & Ermanno C. Tortia, 2013. "The Internal and External Governance of Cooperatives: Membership and Consistency of Values," Euricse Working Papers 1362, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).
    4. Rousselière, D. & Vézina, M., 2009. "Constructing the legitimacy of a financial cooperative in the cultural sector : a case study using textual analysis," Working Papers 200902, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    5. Marco A. MARINI & Paolo POLIDORI & Desiree TEOBALDELLI & Alberto ZEVI, 2015. "Welfare Enhancing Coordination In Consumer Cooperatives Under Mixed Oligopoly," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 505-527, September.
    6. Sacchetti, Silvia & Tortia, Ermanno, 2012. "The internal and external governance of cooperatives: the effective membership and consistency of value," AICCON Working Papers 111-2012, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    7. Michael Kopel & Marco Marini, 2014. "Strategic delegation in consumer cooperatives under mixed oligopoly," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 275-296, November.
    8. Mersland, Roy, 2009. "The Cost of Ownership in Microfinance Organizations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 469-478, February.
    9. Grashuis, Jasper & Cook, Michael, 2016. "Governance and Performance in the U.S. Agri-Food Industry: A Comparative Study of Firms and Cooperatives," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235676, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Michael KOPEL & Marco A. MARINI, 2016. "Organization And Governance In Social Economy Enterprises: An Introduction," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 309-313, December.
    11. Kranz, Olaf & Steger, Thomas, 2016. "Resurrected, recovered, but still didn’t survive? A case study on the viability of employee-owned companies," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 27(4), pages 234-260.
    12. Stéphane Jaumier, 2016. "Preventing chiefs from being chiefs: An ethnography of a co-operative sheet-metal factory," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-01366601, HAL.
    13. Grashuis, Jasper & Cook, Michael, 2016. "Capital, Ownership, and Governance: Analyzing the Structure of U.S. Farmer Cooperatives," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235677, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. repec:eur:ejmsjr:214 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:161:d:63634 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bernardi, Andrea, 2007. "The Cooperative Organization: Economic, Organisational and Policy Issues," AICCON Working Papers 42-2007, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    17. Saskia Crucke & Adelien Decramer, 2016. "The Development of a Measurement Instrument for the Organizational Performance of Social Enterprises," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-30, February.
    18. Arcas-Lario, Narciso & Martín-Ugedo, Juan Francisco & Mínguez-Vera, Antonio, 2014. "Farmers’ Satisfaction with Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Spanish Cooperatives: An Explanation from Agency Theory," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(1).
    19. Sébastien Gand & Mathias Béjean, 2013. "Organizing sustainable democratic firms: processes of regeneration as the design of new models of cooperation," Post-Print hal-00881721, HAL.

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