This case is based on primary and secondary sources of information. These sources include interviews with senior executives as well as documents provided by Mondragon and Eroski. The interviews were conducted on-site. In addition, the authors researched the literature on both organizations.
Eroski is the largest of Mondragon Corporation’s coops. Since its founding, Eroski has faced numerous challenges. It has responded to each challenge with out-of-the-box thinking. In response to the pandemic, Eroski become an e-commerce supermarket as well as selectively continuing bricks and mortar stores. As the pandemic is winding down, Eroski is considering how to respond to the “new normal,” which is largely undefined. The question posited at the end of the case is, “Will Eroski be able to hold to its social principles, maintain its unusual governance model and other unusual practices, and survive this latest challenge?”
Complexity academic level
Eroski of Mondragon is a complex and unusual organization. To appreciate the challenges and how they were overcome by its unique business model, a student must have a minimum background in management, corporate finance and marketing. Thus, this case would fit well into a senior or graduate class on strategic human resource management. It is also recommended for the strategy capstone course usually offered during the last year of a business bachelor’s degree (senior level) to ensure that students are introduced to what Paul Adler refers to as an alternative business model. It can also be targeted for an advanced management course or a strategy course at the MBA and executive levels.
The name Eroski is a combination of the Basque words “Erosi“(to buy), “Kide” (partner) and “Toki” (place).
The authors would like to thank Eroski for its cooperation in preparing this case. The conclusions and opinions provided are, however, those of the authors of the work and do not necessarily reflect those of the cooperatives or their representatives.
Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from interviews, and corporate and other published sources.
Roche, O.P., Calo, T.J., Shipper, F. and Scharf, A. (2023), "Eroski, a Mondragon coop: overcoming challenges and facing a new one", , Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 559-598. https://doi.org/10.1108/TCJ-09-2021-0178
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