The firm as a common. The case of accumulation and use of common resources in mutual benefit organizations
Common resources are quasi-public resources, which are rivaled but non excludable in consumption or in appropriation. While the exploitation of common resources has been widely studied in the literature originated by Elinor Ostron’s works (starting from 1990), the study of common resources inside entrepreneurial organization in not sufficiently developed to date. This paper establishes three dimensions that highlight the relevance of the communality of resources in entrepreneurial organizations: the accumulation and use of common capital resources owned by the organization; the distribution of a rivaled, but non excludable value added among the controlling patrons; and the management of common non-owned resources (for example natural resources) by the organization. The first theme is selected and developed further. Cooperative firms are introduced are instance of ownership form that appears, historically and institutionally, to be particularly keen to accumulate, use, distribute common resources.
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