The effect of trust and social pressure on member commitment in agricultural cooperatives – Evidence from China

Jinghui Hao*, Jos Bijman, Wim Heijman, Ming Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Member commitment has an impact on the viability and success of cooperatives. While there are studies on member engagement in European and American cooperatives, empirical research on member commitment in Chinese agricultural cooperatives is rare. Using a sample of 391 farmer cooperative members in China, this study investigates the factors associated with member commitment, particularly whether trust in the cooperative leadership and social pressure at village level affect member commitment. In addition, the study explores the pathway how trust and social pressure affect member commitment by employing structural equation modelling. Our results show that both trust and social pressure are positively associated with the three components of member commitment – affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment – in a direct way. Furthermore, trust in the leadership impacts affective commitment indirectly via the mediation of member participation. These findings can be used by cooperative leaders, policy makers and rural administrators to strengthen member commitment and thereby the economic viability of agricultural cooperatives and the communities in which they are embedded.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • leadership
  • member participation
  • Organizational commitment
  • social environment
  • trust

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