Co-operation as Coordination Mechanism: consequences on the interpretation of the cooperative enterprise

TRENTO, 4-5 December 2017

Venue: Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento

EURICSE in partnership with Department of Economics and Management and Department of Sociology and Social Research organizes the International Workshop: “Co-operation as Coordination Mechanism: consequences on the interpretation of the cooperative enterprise”.

The economics of cooperative enterprises, both traditional and new forms, such as social cooperatives, needs deep revision and refinement following the evolution of economic theory over the last decades. Traditional approaches are still often based on incoherent or inadequate premises and did not give a convincing view of co-operation as co-ordination mechanism and as organizational form. The critical review of the economic theory is in line with institutionalism and with new approaches and methodologies, which spread over the last decades, especially evolutionary and behavioral economics.
A new approach would aim at creating a new framework of analysis, at overcoming unsolved problems and unanswered questions, and at offering new guidance to empirical and experimental research. The final aim of the workshop is to create a new integrated framework in which cooperation is understood as a unifying concept, more specifically as one of the most relevant coordination mechanisms of the economic activity, and as foundation of the working of cooperative enterprises. It is also understood as relevant, albeit partial and concurrent, coordination mechanism in the working of investor owned and publicly owned enterprises.
One fundamental seminal contribution is found in Elinor Ostrom approach to the governance of common pool natural resources. In our work, an initial attempt to pin down such themes and develop a new coherent framework was carried out in the paper “Co-operation as coordination mechanism. A new approach to the economics of co-operative enterprises” (Borzaga and Tortia, 2017).
Participant in the EURICSE workshop in Trento will present papers dealing with one among the following main themes:
• The nature and sustainability of co-operation as coordination mechanism of the economic activity, as compared with the two dominant coordination mechanisms, i.e. market exchange and hierarchy;
• In what way co-operation as coordination mechanism can help (or halt) explaining co-operative enterprises as specific and non-conventional organizational forms, and what is the role left for market and hierarchy in this organizational form;
• How these theoretical premises help explaining specific forms of co-operative enterprises (supply side such as worker and producer co-operatives, demand side such as consumer and credit co-operatives, mixed and multi-stakeholder such as social co-operatives etc…) and some institutional features of co-operatives (locked assets, capitalization, governance, productivity, management etc.).

Due to limited room available, non-speakers desiring to attend the workshop should contact the organizers:

Download here the program.