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Cooperatives in transition


  • Nilsson, Lovisa


The aim of this thesis was to explore the relations and perspectives that members have on the cooperatives they patron. Agricultural cooperatives in the Swedish tradition have often been multipurpose cooperatives, thus serving farmers with a heterogeneous background. For this to be successful, it has been important to educate members and to develop the trust between members and other actors in the cooperative. In a merged cooperative, trust and heterogeneity may influence the uncertainty that the cooperative faces before the new organizational structure has been imposed. Thus the first paper in this thesis explores how trust among actors is developed and maintained after a merger, by analyzing the role member representatives has in mediating between members and managers. The second paper covers how heterogeneity in farmers' backgrounds may influence their heterogeneity in preferences for a reallocation of equity. The first paper shows that member representatives have a leadership authority that managers use for getting information accepted by members. The second paper shows that members in a cooperative have different perspectives on the cooperative depending on whether they have a high level of investments or a high level of patronage. The conclusions of the two papers are that member representatives are important in mediating information in a cooperative, possibly because of the face-to-face communication they have with both members and managers. And the different perspectives that members have on their cooperative may be explained by the heterogeneity in preferences that they have.

Suggested Citation

  • Nilsson, Lovisa, 2010. "Cooperatives in transition," Department of Economics publications 2296, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sua:ekonwp:2296

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bontems, Philippe & Fulton, Murray, 2009. "Organizational structure, redistribution and the endogeneity of cost: Cooperatives, investor-owned firms and the cost of procurement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 322-343, October.
    2. Nilsson, Jerker, 2001. "Organisational principles for co-operative firms," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 329-356, September.
    3. Nilsson, Jerker & Björklund, Thomas, 2003. "Kan kooperationen klara konkurrensen?," Department of Economics publications 3426, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    4. Rafat A. M. E. Soboh & Alfons Oude Lansink & Gerard Giesen & Gert van Dijk, 2009. "Performance Measurement of the Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives: The Gap between Theory and Practice," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 446-469, September.
    5. Dirk van der Krogt & Jerker Nilsson & Viggo Høst, 2007. "The impact of cooperatives' risk aversion and equity capital constraints on their inter-firm consolidation and collaboration strategies-with an empirical study of the European dairy industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 453-472.
    6. Fulton, Murray E. & Larson, Kathy A., 2009. "The Restructuring of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool: Overconfidence and Agency," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    7. Hendrikse, G.W.J. & Smit, R., 2007. "On the Evolution of Product Portfolio Coherence of Cooperatives versus Corporations: An Agent-Based Analysis of the Single Origin Constraint," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-055-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    8. Murray Fulton & Konstantinos Giannakas, 2001. "Organizational Commitment in a Mixed Oligopoly: Agricultural Cooperatives and Investor-Owned Firms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1258-1265.
    9. Fabio R. Chaddad & Michael L. Cook, 2004. "Understanding New Cooperative Models: An Ownership–Control Rights Typology," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 348-360.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcos Matás, Gustavo & Hernández Espallardo, Miguel & Arcas-Lario, Narciso, 2014. "La disposición a invertir en cooperativas agroalimentarias: el papel de la heterogeneidad y el oportunismo de los socios," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 0(Number 01), pages 1-19, June.

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