Co-operative Stakeholders. Who Counts in Co-operatives, and How?
Who counts in co-operatives, and how? In this paper empirical results are presented from recent quantitative and qualitative studies on Belgian co-operatives in which questions about who counts in co-operatives and how were treated (Develtere, Meireman & Raymaekers, 2005; Dujardin, Mertens & Van Opstal, 2008; Van Opstal, Gijselinckx & Wyns, 2008; Van Opstal & Gijselinckx, 2008). The exploratory empirical evidence is presented after a brief overview of recent insights in stakeholder theory, inspiring the way co-operatives’ stakeholders can be conceived. Although in stakeholder theory multiple types of stakeholders are distinguished, the evidence presented leads us to the conclusion that a continuum between weak and strong models of multi-stakeholdership can be observed in Belgian co-operatives, with most of the cooperatives studied situated in the classical single-member model and weaker models of multistakeholdership. We look for explanations for the emerging pattern and try to formulate ways to overcome hindrances for the development of multi-stakeholder co-operative entrepreneurship, especially in the provision of quasi public goods and services, a gingerly growing field in the Belgian co-operative sector.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2009|
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