WP 39 | 12 Mondragón: how to combine economic success and cooperative values

Publication date: 18 March 2012
Research areas: Management & Governance
Publication categories: Working papers
Tags: cooperatives, concern for community, membership, efficiency, cooperative

Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC) is the world’s largest cooperative industrial group by revenue. Founded in the 1950s, it embarked on a singular development path based at first on internal and dimensional growth, which brought important innovations in governance. These enabled the formation of a highly internationalized group in the 1990s. The companies created abroad are not cooperatives: this triggered an intense debate about whether the group had lost its original identity. Instead, this paper shows how the group managed to reconcile its cooperative goals, its relationship with the local community and the necessary requirements of efficiency and competitiveness by adopting a peculiar organizational structure, in which cooperatives are grouped into sectoral divisions and coordinated by central bodies composed of the members themselves.