This paper aims to fill the academic gaps in the study of the new co‐operative movement in China and its innovative mechanisms, and to assess why new co‐operatives deviate from the orthodox co‐operative model represented by the standards of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
As an alternative to the popular ideal‐co‐operative perspective, the paper employs a historical approach to understand the co‐operative renaissance in China. Afterwards, the paper presents an application as well as an example to reinforce this understanding and to demonstrate the validity of the analysis.
Using this approach, this paper demonstrates the formation process of real‐type co‐operatives under the influence of institutional legacies as well as resources and environments. Moreover, The shareholding co‐operatives have been developed as new co‐operative forms. They are characterized by their multiple stakeholdership, their multi‐purpose operations, and their orientation to the whole community.
The paper looks for the logic of the dynamics and evolution of the newly emerged co‐operatives, trying to explain their non‐compliance with the ICA standards. It analyses the bottom‐up institutional innovation process and the key role played by co‐operative entrepreneurs. Moreover, it contributes to understanding their hybrid form as a nexus of tensions. Therefore, it helps to explain some of the conceptual and practical difficulties that hamper the understanding of new co‐operative development in China.
Zhao, L. and Develtere, P. (2010), "New co‐operatives in China: why they break away from orthodox co‐operatives?", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 35-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/17508611011043048Download as .RIS
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