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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

Jacques Defourny and Victor Pestoff

There is still no universal definition of the third sector in Europe, but it can be seen as including all types of non-governmental not-for-profit entities such as…

Abstract

There is still no universal definition of the third sector in Europe, but it can be seen as including all types of non-governmental not-for-profit entities such as non-profit organizations, mutuals, cooperatives, social enterprises and foundations. This article attempts to make sense of the current shifting conceptualization of the third sector in Europe. It is based on short country summaries of the images and concepts of the third sector in 13 European countries by EMES Network’s members, first presented in 2008 (Defourny and Pestoff, 2008; nine of them were recently revised and are found in the appendix to this article.). The perception and development of the third sector in Europe is closely related to the other major social governance institutions/mechanisms, like the market, state and community and through the third sector’s interaction with them. Moreover, many third sector organizations (TSOs) overlap with these other social institutions, resulting in varying degrees of hybridity and internal tensions experienced by them. TSOs can generate resources from their activities on the market, by providing services in partnership with the state and/or by promoting the interests of a given community or group. The country overviews document a growing professionalization of TSOs in most countries and a growing dependency of public funds to provide services. This has important theoretical and practical implications for orienting the articles included in this book. Thus, it can provide a key for better understanding the discussion and analysis in the remainder of this volume.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2019

Rory James Ridley-Duff and Michael Frederick Bull

This paper aims to re-evaluate social enterprise (SE) history to pinpoint a pluralist turn in communitarian philosophy during the 1970s, which has the potential to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to re-evaluate social enterprise (SE) history to pinpoint a pluralist turn in communitarian philosophy during the 1970s, which has the potential to transform labour and consumer rights in enterprise development.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a close examination of model rules created by founders of the FairShares Association (FSA), the authors find that the communitarian origins of SE are disturbingly obscured and hidden.

Findings

In studying FSA documents and building a timeline of the development of the FairShares Model (FSM), the authors found links between SE developments in the UK, continental Europe, Asia, North/South America and the development of solidarity cooperatives.

Research limitations/implications

The authors argue that the discovery of a communitarian pluralist turn advances “new cooperativism” by enfranchising both labour and users in industrial relations (IR). Using this insight, they challenge accounts of SE history and argue for more research on SE’s potential contribution to radical IR.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the potential of the FSM as a vehicle for catalysing new SE and IR practices that share wealth and power more equitably between social entrepreneurs, workforce members, service/product users and community/social investors.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Erwin Stoop, Taco Brandsen and Jan-Kees Helderman

Most research into the relationship between social capital and cooperatives takes social capital as the independent variable and the cooperative as the dependent variable…

Abstract

Purpose

Most research into the relationship between social capital and cooperatives takes social capital as the independent variable and the cooperative as the dependent variable, but as yet the authors know little about causality in the other direction. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the cooperative structure helps to maintain organizational social capital.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 46 participants from local banks (chairpersons, directors, managers, team leaders and human resources managers).

Findings

Although the cooperative structure formally remained in place, integration into financial markets and digitalization effectively disembedded the organization from its original social context. The cooperative model can only remain distinctive, in terms of how it relates to its clients, under certain institutional conditions.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that scaling, in response to changes in the institutional environment, was an important factor in changing the nature of the organization.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of the social dynamics of cooperatives in the field of financial services.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Book part
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Subas P. Dhakal

The economic growth and women’s empowerment nexus features prominently within United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). While the gendered view of inclusive…

Abstract

The economic growth and women’s empowerment nexus features prominently within United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). While the gendered view of inclusive economic opportunities has received significant attention in recent years, the gap between men and women in developing countries remains significant. Under the assumption that there are fertile prospects to bridge social responsibility and SDGs judiciously, this chapter explores the question: ‘what insights into women’s employment and empowerment can be generated from the state of cooperative enterprises in Nepal?’ The focus is on aspects of women’s employment and empowerment under goal 8, which promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. Learning from the Nepalese experiences, the chapter contends that cooperative enterprise social responsibility (CESR) needs to be approached as the vital link between the internal and the external interests of cooperatives to achieve SDGs.

Details

Entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-375-9

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Book part
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Stephen Pitts S. J.

Coffee producers typically sell raw coffee beans as the first step in a global value chain. Recently, groups of producers have formed coffee cooperatives that attempt to…

Abstract

Coffee producers typically sell raw coffee beans as the first step in a global value chain. Recently, groups of producers have formed coffee cooperatives that attempt to regain market power by integrating the other steps of the value chain. This study uses matching to estimate the effect of membership in one such cooperative on the household economy of indigenous coffee producers in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It contributes to the literature by considering new determinants of participation and outcomes of interest. First, social capital at the individual and village level is correlated with cooperative membership more than other demographic factors. Second, cooperative members report an increase in the share of coffee sold and income from coffee sales but not in per-kilo price or total income. These two results reflect particular features of the Chiapas reality and the desires of the indigenous people the cooperative serves. Thus, they reiterate the importance for economic development projects to consider the context of their interventions.

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Entrepreneurship and Development in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-233-7

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Article
Publication date: 17 November 2014

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Adam Richards and John Reed

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how social capital is developed in a third sector organisation based in the north-west of England, a small food cooperative run by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how social capital is developed in a third sector organisation based in the north-west of England, a small food cooperative run by volunteers. Social capital comprises the bonds, bridges and linkages that hold together societal members, and it can be considered to be a precursor of economic capital.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected through interviews with key informants, observations and documents. Data were analysed using either a template or a thematic analysis to identify aspects of social capital development.

Findings

A model of the interactions between and within the three main stakeholder groups involved in the cooperative is presented. This model shows how these interactions can develop social capital, and it discusses how potential deficits in social capital can occur.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have practical and theoretical implications, in that they may better equip third-sector organisations to understand how social capital is developed.

Originality/value

This is one of few practical studies of social capital development in a social enterprise and provides valuable insights into the processes by which this is done.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Janusz Grygieńć

The purpose of this paper is to study the main determinants of the development of social economy in Poland; introduction to Polish socio-economic system, and identifying…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the main determinants of the development of social economy in Poland; introduction to Polish socio-economic system, and identifying the institutional and cultural barriers to its development.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the paper presents the historical and institutional determinants of Polish social economy; second, it sets out the problems faced by post-transitional social economy. The approach to this issue takes a diversified form: it includes a political science approach (in describing the institutional determinants of social economy), a sociological approach (when it refers to sociological surveys and studies of Polish society), and a philosophical analysis (in considering the normative implications of introducing socio-economic institutions, describing their advantages and disadvantages).

Findings

The theses of the paper state that: first, in the case of social economy, the Polish legal system anticipates social consciousness; in consequence, it does not contribute significantly to an increase in the number of socio-economic enterprises; second, institutional barriers to socio-economic development are derivative of cultural barriers.

Research limitations/implications

The subject of the paper helps to explain and analyze Poland’s transformation.

Practical implications

Recommendations for further development of social economy in Poland given as a conclusion to the paper.

Originality/value

The paper combines descriptive and normative accounts of Polish social economy, summarizing its character and limitations as those have been identified by major Polish scholars, adding two theses not previously found in the scholarly literature, and presenting practical recommendations for development of social economy in Poland.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 42 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Despina Sdrali, Maria Goussia-Rizou, Panagiota Giannouli and Konstantinos Makris

Social economy employees focus on personal fulfillment and social good rather than economic gains. They prefer to work in a sector that promotes satisfaction and makes…

Abstract

Purpose

Social economy employees focus on personal fulfillment and social good rather than economic gains. They prefer to work in a sector that promotes satisfaction and makes them feel worthy. The purpose of this paper is to investigate employees’ motivations to engage in the social economy sector, especially in a period of financial downturn in Greece. Furthermore, the impact of specific demographic characteristics on employees’ work motivation is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

The research participants included 200 employees of worker cooperatives and social cooperative enterprises. A survey was conducted by collecting primary data and using a close-ended type questionnaire.

Findings

According to the findings, intrinsic forces motivate the employees to a greater extent toward social economy sector than economic ones. However, the replacement of the profit motivation from the main concern, it does not mean that the employees are not interested in financials. The survey also indicated that the most important barrier for starting to work in the social economy sector is the difficulty in finding partners. Finally, the findings showed that demographic characteristics partially influence work motivations of Greek employees on the social economy sector.

Originality/value

The results of this study may interest employers in finding new ways to motivate employees toward social economy sector under economic crisis conditions.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 43 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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