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Article

Stéphane Jaumier

While a comparative study of the literature on accounting as a profession and on cooperatives reveals important differences in the values embodied by certified public…

Abstract

Purpose

While a comparative study of the literature on accounting as a profession and on cooperatives reveals important differences in the values embodied by certified public accountants and by cooperators, the purpose of this study is to explore whether such differences lead to an insurmountable incompatibility or may possibly be mitigated and eventually overcome.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on a French public accounting firm’s project to become a worker cooperative. Drawing on methodological insights from actor–network theory (ANT), the study analyses a situation in which the certified public accountants try to convince some cooperators of the merits of their project.

Findings

The case studied suggests that accounting as a profession and cooperatives are irreconcilable. It not only confirms that some of their contrasting features (identified in the literature) are indeed too difficult to overcome but also reveals a new, unforeseen source of tension between certified public accountants and cooperators.

Research limitations/implications

The study calls for further research into the so-far-overlooked relationships between accounting as a profession and cooperatives. It also proposes to extend the usage of ANT in accounting research to the study of accounting as a profession.

Originality/value

While ANT-inspired accounting research has to date shown a dominant interest in successful translation processes, the present study looks at an unsuccessful translation stage.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article

Egidio Riva and Emma Garavaglia

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which social cooperatives in Italy followed and managed to preserve their core values and principles while…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which social cooperatives in Italy followed and managed to preserve their core values and principles while withstanding multiple pressures during the great recession. Attention is paid to two key issues. First, the concept of political agency is used to understand whether social cooperatives have been sensitive and committed to their role as key political players in the sustainable development of the community in which they operate. A further issue addressed is the impact of the post-2008 crisis on the quality of work and employment in social cooperatives.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a mixed-method social research approach. It integrates quantitative analysis of administrative data on business life cycle drawn from the Italian business registers with empirical evidence collected via in-depth interviews and focus groups on a sample of managers of social cooperatives and representatives of social cooperative associations and consortia.

Findings

Findings suggest that the great recession and welfare state retrenchment have worsened the quality of work and employment. Nonetheless, evidence produced through qualitative research also shows that social cooperatives have proved to be well suited to displaying political agency and acting as a key political player at local level.

Research limitations/implications

Results of field research are not generalizable.

Originality/value

Comparatively higher resilience of cooperatives, which is very much attributable to their specific rationale and mission, may come at a cost. The literature has largely missed investigating this cost, which can also be measured in terms of consistency with core values. Indeed, the sustainability of cooperatives relates to economic indicators, such as employment and economic performance, but also to the social, cultural and political dimension of the enterprise. In this regard, this paper investigates the extent to which, during the post-2008 crisis, cooperative enterprises managed to preserve the quality of work and employment and play a political role in the welfare system.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part

Louis Beaubien and Daphne Rixon

To examine metrics used for performance measurement, analysis, and decision-making by insurance cooperatives.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine metrics used for performance measurement, analysis, and decision-making by insurance cooperatives.

Design and approach

A documentary review and semi-structured interviews of three large insurance cooperatives form the basis of the study.

Findings

The analysis suggests insurance co-operatives metrics are consistent with investor-owned companies. These measures do not recognize the cooperative principles and values which consistent the formative basis of these insurance co-operatives.

Practical implications

The insurance co-operatives under examination do not engage in a comparison to other insurance co-operatives; rather comparisons are made against investor-owned companies. As this analysis is used in decision-making and strategy formulation, guiding the direction of the co-operatives the questions must be raised: does the co-operative difference exist in the insurance sector and how (and what) performance analysis tools are used to assess their performance?

Originality

There is a paucity of research in the area of metrics and analytics of co-operatives. As such this article expands the academic scope of examination of co-operatives in the context of financial and accounting operations. Additionally, it adds to the ongoing discussion in the academy focused on the nature of co-operatives and the nature of the co-operative difference.

Details

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

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Article

Peter Davis

This paper seeks to critically review developments in the literature spanning personnel management, HRM, learning organization and intellectual capital approaches to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to critically review developments in the literature spanning personnel management, HRM, learning organization and intellectual capital approaches to employee utilization and development. The purpose being to identify the benefits, limitations and lessons for the management of people in the co‐operative and mutual sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

The problem of inadequate Personnel or HRM systems in the majority of co‐operatives has been established by the author over a period of seven years, field work with co‐operative organizations including the international co‐operative alliance (ICA), asian confederation of credit unions (ACCU), and the British society for co‐operative studies. Direct interviews and a sample of HRM and Membership Relations audit forms developed as part of the ongoing field research and special project work have been applied to various co‐operative contexts in all the regions of the ICA.

Findings

The findings are that co‐operatives generally are lagging behind the private sector in their application of all four approaches. Mostly smaller co‐operatives lack effective basic personnel systems and few of the larger co‐operatives go beyond HRM. This failure to develop clear programs for the utilization and development of their people is a missed opportunity.

Practical implications

The membership base and its roots in a community of shared interests means that, whilst co‐operatives have lessons to learn from all four approaches, they can and must go beyond them if they are to optimize their people‐centered business advantage in the marketplace.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a new strategy for co‐operatives of Co‐operative Social Capital Management to help them compete, whilst retaining their co‐operative difference.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Book part

Ajibola Anthony Akanji

The phenomenon of globalization is a popular and controversial issue that has many facets. According to Lee and Vivarelli 2006), most conversations around globalization…

Abstract

The phenomenon of globalization is a popular and controversial issue that has many facets. According to Lee and Vivarelli 2006), most conversations around globalization tend to describe it in terms of increase in trade and liberalization policies and reduction in transportation costs and technology transfer. Heine and Thakur (2011) opine on globalization as follows:

Many regard globalization as both a desirable and an irreversible engine of commerce that will underpin growing prosperity and a higher standard of living throughout the world. Others recoil from it as the soft underbelly of corporate imperialism that plunders and profiteers on the basis of unrestrained consumerism. (p. 2)

Many regard globalization as both a desirable and an irreversible engine of commerce that will underpin growing prosperity and a higher standard of living throughout the world. Others recoil from it as the soft underbelly of corporate imperialism that plunders and profiteers on the basis of unrestrained consumerism. (p. 2)

The Brundtland Report (1987) was put together in response to agitations over such loses/discontents. This report gave birth to what unarguably is the most popular concept in sustainable development. The Report features the integration of the concerns about strands of development as experienced and as projected across divides, as well as concerns about their interrelationship, and effects on people and the environment. It seeks to reconcile the future with current developments. The recommendations of the report in the end materialized into the millennium development goals (MDGs) in January 2000, which in turn metamorphosed into the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in January 2016. The bulk of the SDGs are to be achieved in the global-south as countries within this categorization including Nigeria have more to do within their territories in order to ensure its actualization. One of the major challenges facing the SDGs in Nigeria is institutionalizing mobilization for the actualization of the goals. Against this backdrop, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was launched to bring on board academic institutions, civil societies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses, and mobilize their activities into fewer but more efficient units.

This chapter contextually explores the purpose and roles of the SDSN in Nigeria, and conceptualizes how it will play out for both sustainable development and qualitative participation in globalization. It identified and explored the interface between the three variables of universities: cooperativism, cooperatives, cooperation, and solidarity economics; communities as integral to the actualization of the SDGs; and proportionate participation in globalization. Deficiencies were identified, and remedial actions proffered.

Details

University Partnerships for Sustainable Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-643-4

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Article

Nooraslinda Abdul Aris, Marziana Madah Marzuki, Rohana Othman, Safawi Abdul Rahman and Norashikin Hj Ismail

This study aims to design a set of sustainability indicators that is pertinent to cooperatives longevity. The primary goal of the cooperatives is towards meeting the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to design a set of sustainability indicators that is pertinent to cooperatives longevity. The primary goal of the cooperatives is towards meeting the economic progress of members while satisfying their socio-cultural interests and protecting the environment. As a sustainable and participatory form of business, cooperatives offer an alternative business model to social enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an extraction process analysis, this study examined and analyzed guidelines, indices, and framework on sustainability used by the public companies. The selected materials were analyzed using Atlas.ti software, whereby common indicators were divided into themes. The indicators were further scrutinized to suit the cooperatives identity and local regulations.

Findings

The results are presented as indicators for cooperatives sustainability that could serve as strategies and performance measurement. Promotion and expansion of cooperatives could be an important instrument for more than one billion people around the world involved in cooperatives either as members/customers, employees/participants, or both.

Originality/value

This work extends and complements the on-going efforts in uplifting the cooperatives sector as the third engine of economic growth in Malaysia. It contributes towards enriching the knowledge of the relationship between sustainable development and sustainability and its influence towards the cooperative sector. It may also provide the building blocks for future studies that could explore the usefulness of these indicators to other business setting having a similar objective like the cooperatives.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Book part

Peter J. Baldacchino, Shana Bugeja and Simon Grima

The main objective of this chapter is to evaluate whether social auditing is applicable to Maltese co-operatives and, if so, to lay out the possible characteristics of…

Abstract

The main objective of this chapter is to evaluate whether social auditing is applicable to Maltese co-operatives and, if so, to lay out the possible characteristics of such an exercise. The chapter adopts a mixed research methodology with semi-structured interviews being conducted with 14 local experts, and a questionnaire being addressed to 11 Maltese co-operative managers. The findings indicate that the Maltese co-operative identity is as yet emergent and that, consequently, if a social audit is introduced now, controversies would easily arise on the audit’s frequency, publication, scope and composition of the audit team. Nonetheless, a social audit may ultimately be modelled on the Beechwood process and on the reporting indicators of the Euro Co-op Social Reporting Working Party. It would involve the examination of both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of a co-operative, concluding with recommendations for improvement. Furthermore, the exercise would need to be monitored by the Maltese regulator, the Co-operatives Board, and best be conducted regularly, say, every 3 years, by an inter-disciplinary audit team. Therefore, the chapter concludes that the introduction of such a regulatory exercise as part of the Maltese co-operative framework would ultimately be beneficial, ameliorating the co-operative movement. Yet, it is strongly recommended that, prior to its introduction, Maltese co-operatives work further on developing their fundamentals.

Details

Contemporary Issues in Audit Management and Forensic Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-636-0

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Article

Dolores Gallardo-Vázquez, M. Isabel Sánchez-Hernández and Francisca Castilla-Polo

– The purpose of this paper is to address a theoretical and methodological framework to validate a model for explaining social responsibility in cooperative societies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address a theoretical and methodological framework to validate a model for explaining social responsibility in cooperative societies.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodology based on the assessment and agreement of an expert panel has been used. More exactly, a Delphi technique will help achieve agreement about the set of indicators previously defined and to get a single and agreed definition.

Findings

The results consist of a consensus scale for each variable of the proposed model. This unanimity in the opinions about the final result will be the basis for further quantitative treatment of the proposed conceptual model.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations derive from the initial state of the study and the need to practical analysis.

Practical and social implications

Cooperative societies could have a way to analyze their position related to social responsibility. In general, contributions to social responsibility have improved, in particular, in the field of these entities.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to properly measure the variables of the conceptual model. The main variable of analysis, called Orientation to Social Responsibility in Cooperatives (OSRCOOP), is not directly observable, and it is necessary to measure it through a set of indicators. Likewise, with the other strategic variables with which OSRCOOP is related to the model proposed (member satisfaction, innovation, quality of service and cooperative outcome or performance).

Details

Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

Keywords

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Article

Francesc Relano and Elisabeth Paulet

The aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis has accelerated a pre‐existing process of ethical approach in the banking industry. Today, all banks claim to be socially…

Abstract

Purpose

The aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis has accelerated a pre‐existing process of ethical approach in the banking industry. Today, all banks claim to be socially, environmentally and economically committed with the philosophy of sustainable finance. The purpose of this paper is to show that, beyond the outward similarities, there are three different types of banking approach, each reflecting a distinct business model: banks whose ethical/social approach is mainly based on what they say, represented by universal banks; banks whose ethical/social approach is based on what they are, essentially the co‐operative banks; banks whose ethical/social approach is based on what they do, the so‐called ethical banks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper bases its argument on the German banking industry, which is a big European country with a fairly diversified banking sector. The paper examines three types of sources for each of the above‐mentioned categories of banks: the social and environmental reporting, the conformity or not with the principles of the social and solidarity‐based economy and the different types of financial activities as reflected in their balance sheet.

Findings

The paper concludes that more ethical behaviour leads to both economic performance and social gains which increase wealth for all partners.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed methodology could be extended to other European banking systems to discuss their implications as regards corporate social responsibility.

Practical implications

This contribution will help the reader to evaluate banking communication as regards corporate social responsibility in their daily activity.

Originality/value

This research will give an insight based on the documents published by banking institutions to measure their implication on corporate social responsibility.

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Book part

Sonja Novkovic, Piotr Prokopowicz and Ryszard Stocki

This chapter contributes to the discourse on the impact of employee participation in organisations. Using worker co-operatives as special cases of participatory firms, we…

Abstract

This chapter contributes to the discourse on the impact of employee participation in organisations. Using worker co-operatives as special cases of participatory firms, we discuss the role of values in organisations and their importance in a business context. We devise and apply the CoopIndex diagnostic tool as a method of assessment of the ‘health’ of an organisation whose members aspire to align co-operative management with the application of the co-operative principles and values.

Details

Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-221-9

Keywords

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