Myers and Cato explore the cooperative sector in the areas of health and social services reforms, and in particular, the rediscovery of mutualism. The authors build on research of 17 case studies, which was undertaken on behalf of the Wales Co-operative Centre, to raise questions and provoke discussion about social enterprise and cooperatives operating as service providers. Myers and Cato call for taking the “mutual moment” as an opportunity to rethink the provision of public services without losing the ethos of public service and to build public value. More than this, their thought-provoking piece also gives us opportunity to critically reflect upon the changing relationship between state, private, and third sectors. The authors first analyze the progressive move from public to private provision and then look at the potential to move from private to mutual. Finally, they ask the question whether co-constructing mutualism and public services is the way forward to reconfiguring public services in a way that is both democratic and desirable.
Frère, B. and Reinecke, J. (2011), "Commentary on Chapter 2", Hull, R., Gibbon, J., Branzei, O. and Haugh, H. (Ed.) The Third Sector (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2046-6072(2011)0000001009
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