Can cooperatives function as a primary model for organization in the postgrowth world?

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The central question in this paper is: In what ways can cooperatives function as a primary model for organization in a postgrowth world? This question is addressed in two dimensions. First, what are the internal and external challenges to the cooperative organization as an inclusive social business model? The inquiry here distinguishes between cooperatives as either emancipatory or context-dependent organizations. Second, what is, in practice, the role of the institutional context in cooperative business strategy formulation? This section discusses the dichotomy between cooperatives as community-based or market-driven organizations. Findings provide insights into the social dynamics that tie together community-driven ideals, economic ambitions, institutional infrastructures and the cooperative model. The discussion on the cooperative potential allow for profound reflections on a postgrowth future. Conclusions are presented based on the paradox that a larger role of governments may be a major determinant of post economic growth success.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventICA 2019: Cooperatives and the Transformation of Business and Society - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 21 Aug 201923 Aug 2019


ConferenceICA 2019



  • Transformation; Postgrowth economy; Institutional infrastructure; Community-driven

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