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Natural resource management: the role of cooperative institutions and governance


  • Konrad Hagedorn

    () (Humboldt University Berlin)


There are two major discourses on cooperatives and cooperative organizations. One deals with cooperatives for product marketing, inputs, credit, housing, consumers and similar voluntary associations. The other focuses on collective action in the area of provision and management of natural resources, which is gaining in importance due to increasing resource degradation and scarcity. One of the main differences between these two types of cooperative is that the first uses resources artificially pooled by people, while the second uses pools of natural resources that pre-existed the cooperative, which are used by applying appropriate technologies and adding the necessary infrastructure. As the commons literature demonstrates, however, cooperative organization or natural resource management will only lead to successful and sustainable social construction for natural resources if a set of crucial conditions are fulfilled. After discussing two analytical frameworks, the paper presents four cases of institutional analysis of social-ecological systems. They show that actors’ interdependence caused by the attributes of nature-related transactions plays a crucial role in institutional choice and the feasibility of collective action in natural resource management.

Suggested Citation

  • Konrad Hagedorn, 2013. "Natural resource management: the role of cooperative institutions and governance," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 2(1), pages 101-121, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:csnjrn:v:2:i:1:p:101-121

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Claude Ménard, 2005. "New institutions for governing the agri-food industry," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 421-440, September.
    2. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    3. Konrad Hagedorn, 2008. "Particular requirements for institutional analysis in nature-related sectors," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 357-384, September.
    4. Ostrom, Elinor, 2002. "Common-pool resources and institutions: Toward a revised theory," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1315-1339 Elsevier.
    5. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2005. "Institutional ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-368, May.
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    More about this item


    Cooperative enterprises;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General


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