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New Producer Strategies: The Emergence of Patron-Driven Entrepreneurship

  • Cook, Michael L.
  • Burress, Molly J.
  • Iliopoulos, Constantine
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    Abstract—Existing research treats the cooperative structure as relatively homogeneous. The proposed paper argues that all cooperatives are not created equal – and consideration of organizational structure is critical when analyzing the economic impact of cooperation. In recent empirical work, we observe cooperatives forming as single- or multi-purpose; generating equity capital passively, quasi-passively, or proactively; vertically integrating in a centralized, federated, or a hybrid fashion; governing through fixed or proportional control rights; and instituting open, closed or class-varying membership criteria. The emergence of multiple-level rent-seeking cooperatives challenges our traditional rent dispersion models of collective action. We call these multi-level, patron, rent-seeking entities a form of collective entrepreneurship. This paper develops a set of criteria enabling us to distinguish between traditional forms of cooperation and collective entrepreneurship. We employ these characteristics to analyze and contrast these two extreme forms of collective action. We propose a continuum from single-level rent seeking, traditional, patron, user-driven cooperative forms; through forms of hybrids and macrohierarchies; to multiple-level rent seeking, patron, user-investor-driven collective entrepreneurship.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44397
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    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium with number 44397.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44397
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    1. Valentinov, Vladislav, 2007. "Why are cooperatives important in agriculture? An organizational economics perspective," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 55-69, April.
    2. Dunn, John R., 1988. "Basic Cooperative Principles and Their Relationship to Selected Practices," Journal of Agricultural Cooperation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, vol. 3.
    3. Sexton, Richard J. & Iskow, Julie, 1988. "Factors Critical to the Success or Failure of Emerging Agricultural Cooperatives," Information Series 11921, University of California, Davis, Giannini Foundation.
    4. Mário Rui Silva & Hermano Rodrigues, 2005. "Public-Private Partnerships and the Promotion of Collective Entrepreneurship," FEP Working Papers 172, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    5. Fabio R. Chaddad & Michael L. Cook & Thomas Heckelei, 2005. "Testing for the Presence of Financial Constraints in US Agricultural Cooperatives: An Investment Behaviour Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 385-397.
    6. Cook, Michael L. & Plunkett, Brad, 2006. "Collective Entrepreneurship: An Emerging Phenomenon in Producer-Owned Organizations," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(02), August.
    7. Harris, Andrea & Stefanson, Brenda & Fulton, Murray E., 1996. "New Generation Cooperatives and Cooperative Theory," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 11.
    8. Luc Tardieu, 2003. "Knowledge and the Maintenance of Entrepreneurial Capability," CAE Working Papers 01, Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM.
    9. George Hendrikse & Jos Bijman, 2002. "Ownership Structure in Agrifood Chains: The Marketing Cooperative," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 104-119.
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