Contextualizing the Governance of Community Co-operatives: Evidence from Austria and Germany

Original Paper

Abstract

The article inquires into the role of the institutional context in explaining the governance of community co-operatives. These organizations do not solely focus on a member’s advantage but act on behalf of some collective identity. To enhance our understanding of the nature of co-operative governance on the neighborhood level, we draw on theoretical concepts that are context-sensitive, helping us to catch the institutional conditions in a specific place which are enabling individuals and groups to act and organize collectively. Thus, we enrich the abstract concept of governance put forward by New Institutional Economics. Based on a systematic analysis of case studies, the paper shows that the governance of community co-operatives is based on place-bound values. However, the encounter of divergent imaginations of the neighborhood results in different co-operative practices: e.g., either a government-directed practice to “discipline” the community or a community-initiated practice of self-organization.

Keywords

Community co-operatives Public services Governance Institutional theory 

Résumé

L’article est une étude du rôle du contexte institutionnel pour expliquer la gouvernance des coopératives communautaires. Ces organisations n’ont pas pour seule priorité de bénéficier à un membre car elles agissent au nom d’une certaine identité collective. Afin d’optimiser notre compréhension de la nature de la gouvernance d’une coopérative au niveau d’un quartier, nous faisons appel à des concepts théoriques qui sont sensibles au contexte, pour nous aider à saisir les conditions institutionnelles dans un lieu spécifique qui permettent aux individus et aux groupes d’agir et de s’organiser collectivement. Nous venons ainsi enrichir le concept abstrait de gouvernance développé par la Nouvelle économie institutionnelle (New Institutional Economics). Se basant sur une analyse systématique d’études de cas, l’article démontre que la gouvernance des coopératives communautaires repose sur des valeurs attachées au lieu. Cependant, la confrontation d’imaginations divergentes issues du quartier résulte en différentes pratiques de la coopérative : par ex. une pratique instruite par le gouvernement afin de « discipliner » la communauté ou une pratique d’auto-organisation initiée par la communauté.

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Beitrag untersucht die Rolle des institutionellen Kontexts für die Erklärung der Governance von Community Co-operatives. Diese Organisationen konzentrieren sich nicht nur auf die Vorteile für ihre Mitglieder, sondern handeln im Namen einer kollektiven Identität. Zur Vertiefung unseres Verständnisses der typischen Merkmale der Governance einer Genossenschaft auf Nachbarschaftsebene stützen wir uns auf kontextbezogene Konzepte, die uns helfen, die institutionellen Bedingungen an einem bestimmten Ort zu erfassen, welche gemeinschaftliches Handeln und kollektive Organisation ermöglichen. Somit erweitern wir das abstrakte Governance-Konzept der Neuen Institutionenökonomie. Anhand einer systematischen Fallstudienanalyse zeigt der Beitrag, dass die Governance von Community Co-operatives auf ortsspezifischen Werten aufbaut. Allerdings führen unterschiedliche Vorstellungen des Ortes zu unterschiedlichen Genossenschaftspraktiken: entweder zu einer von der Gemeinde gesteuerten Praktik der „Disziplinierung“ der Gemeinschaft oder zu einer von den Bürgern initiierten Praktik der Selbstorganisation.

Resumen

El artículo se pregunta por el papel del contexto institucional a la hora de explicar la gobernanza de las cooperativas comunitarias. Estas organizaciones no sólo se centran en la ventaja del miembro sino que actúan en nombre de alguna identidad colectiva. Para aumentar nuestra comprensión de la naturaleza de la gobernanza cooperativa a nivel de barrio, recurrimos a conceptos teóricos que son sensibles al contexto, ayudándonos a captar las condiciones institucionales en un lugar específico que ayudan a los individuos y grupos a actuar y organizarse colectivamente. De este modo, enriquecemos el concepto abstracto de gobernanza postulado por la Nueva Economía Institucional. Basándose en un análisis sistemático de estudios de casos, el documento muestra que la gobernanza de las cooperativas comunitarias se basa en valores vinculados al lugar. Sin embargo, el encuentro de imaginaciones divergentes del barrio da lugar a diferentes prácticas cooperativas: p.ej.: una práctica dirigida por el gobierno para “disciplinar” a la comunidad o una práctica de auto-organización iniciada por la comunidad.

摘要

本文旨在探究制度背景在解释社区合作管理中的作用。 这些组织并非只关注单个会员的利益,而是代表某些集体行事。 为了更好地了解社区一级合作管理的性质,我们设计了一些与背景相关的理论概念,以把握某个地方的个人和团体得以集体行动和集体组织的制度条件。 如此一来,我们便能丰富新制度经济学提出的抽象的管理概念。 通过对案例研究进行系统化分析,本文揭示出社区合作管理的基础是某地特有的价值观。 不过,由于社区的创想能力互不相同,因此存在形式各异的合作模式:有政府主导的社区“训导”模式,也有社区发起的自我组织模式。

要約

本論では、共同体における協同組合の支配について説明する際の制度的状況における役割を調査する。これらの組織では、メンバーの長所だけでなく集合的なアイデンティティに代わる行動にも焦点を合わせている。個人とグループが行動して、集約的に組織することが可能な特定の地域における制度的状況を捉えて、隣接レベルでの協力的な支配の本質についての理解を向上させるために、本論では状況的に依存理論を用いる。従って、New Institutional Economics(新制度派経済学)が進めた支配に関する抽象概念を改善することを提示する。本論はケーススタディの組織分析に基づいて、共同体の協同組合の支配が因習深い土地の価値に基づくことを示している。しかしながら、例えば共同体で「実施する」政府によって導かれた慣行もしくは共同体における自己組織によって導かれた慣行などのように、異なる共同体の慣行は異なる構想へと導かれるといえる。

ملخص

تستفسر هذه المقالة عن دور السياق المؤسسي في شرح حكم مجتمع التعاونيات. هذه المنظمات لا تركز فقط على ميزة العضو، لكنها تتصرف بالنيابة عن بعض الهوية الجماعية. لتعزيز فهمنا لطبيعة تعاونية الحكم على مستوى الحي ، نعتمد على المفاهيم النظرية ذات السياق الحساس، لمساعدتنا على فهم الأوضاع المؤسسية في مكان معين والتي تمكن الأفراد والمجموعات على التصرف و التنظيم الجماعي. بالتالي، فإننا نزيد المفهوم النظري للحكم الذي طرحه الإقتصاد المؤسسي الجديد. بناءاً على تحليل منهجي من دراسات الحالة، يبين البحث أن حكم مجتمع التعاونيات يستند على مكان محدد القيم. مع ذلك ، فإن اللقاء بين خيال متباين من الحي ينتج عنه ممارسات تعاونية مختلفة: مثلاً إما حكومة- توجه الممارسة “لإنضباط” المجتمع أو مجتمع - بدأ ممارسة التنظيم الذاتي.

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank Andreas Novy and anonymous reviewers for their fruitful comments which helped to improve the article.

References

  1. Adler, P. S. (2001). Market, hierarchy and trust: The knowledge economy and the future of capitalism. Organization Science, 12, 215–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bator, F. M. (1958). The anatomy of market failure. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 72, 351–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berger, P., & Luckmann, T. (1967). The social construction of reality. A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  4. Beyes, T. P., & Jaeger, U. P. (2006). Nonprofit-organizations and society: An organization-theoretical view. Zeitschrift fuer oeffentliche und gemeinnuetzige Unternehmen, 34, 101–114.Google Scholar
  5. Bonus, H. (1986). The cooperative association as a business enterprise: A study in the economics of transactions. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 142, 310–339.Google Scholar
  6. Borzaga, C., & Mittone, L. (1997). The multi-stakeholders versus the nonprofit organisations, discussion paper 7. Trento: Università degli Studi di Trento.Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, P. (1985). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  8. Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (2002). Social capital and community governance. Economic Journal, 112, 419–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cars, G., Healey, P., Madanipour, A., & de Magalhaes, C. (Eds.). (2002). Urban governance, institutional capacity and social milieux. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  10. Carson, S. J., Madhok, A., & Wu, T. (2006). Uncertainty, opportunism, and governance: The effects of volantility and ambiguity on formal and relational contracting. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 1058–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cornforth, C. (2004). The governance of cooperatives and mutual associations: A paradox perspective. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 75, 11–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1991). Introduction. In W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Draheim, G. (1952). Die Genossenschaft als Unternehmungstyp. Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.Google Scholar
  14. Eberl, P. (2004). The development of trust and implications for organizational design: A Game- and attribution-theoretical framework. Schmalenbach Business Review, 56, 258–273.Google Scholar
  15. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. The Academy of Management Review, 14, 532–550.Google Scholar
  16. Eliasoph, N. (2009). Top-down civic projects are not grassroots associations: How the differences matter in everyday life. Voluntas, 20, 291–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Enjolras, B. (2009). Between market and civic governance regimes: Civicness in the governance of social services in Europe. Voluntas, 20, 274–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fink, M., & Kessler, A. (2010). Cooperation, trust and performance: Empirical results from three countries. British Journal of Management, 21, 469–483.Google Scholar
  19. Furubotn, E. (2001). The new institutional economics and the theory of the firm. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 45, 133–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gibbert, M., Ruigrok, W., & Wicki, B. (2008). What passes as a rigorous case study? Strategic Management Journal, 29, 1465–1474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Giddens, A. (1984). The constitution of society. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Gonzales, V. (2007). Social enterprises, institutional capacity and social inclusion. In A. Noya & E. Clarence (Eds.), The social economy: Building inclusive economies. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  23. González, S., & Healey, P. (2005). A sociological institutionalist approach to the study of innovation in governance capacity. Urban Studies, 42, 2055–2069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. González, S., & Vigar, G. (2010). The Ouseburn trust: A struggle to innovate in the context of a weak local state. In F. Moulaert, E. Swyngedouw, F. Martinelli, & S. González (Eds.), Can neighbourhoods save the city? Social innovation and local community development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gregory, D., & Urry, J. (Eds.). (1985). Social relations and spatial structures. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  27. Hajer, M. (1995). The politics of environmental discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Harms, R., Kraus, S., & Schwarz, E. (2009). The suitability of the configuration approach in entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 21, 25–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Healey, P. (2004). Creativity and urban governance. Policy Studies, 25, 87–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lorendahl, B. (1996). New cooperatives and local development: A study of six cases in Jaemtland, Sweden. Journal of Rural Studies, 12, 143–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mayring, P. (2008). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse: Grundlagen und Techniken. Weinheim-Basel: Beltz.Google Scholar
  32. Miller, M. (2010). Perspektiven von Genossenschaften in einem globalisierten Umfeld. Kassel: Kassel University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Moulaert, F., & Ailenei, O. (2005). Social economy, third sector and solidarity relations: A conceptual synthesis from history to present. Urban Studies, 42, 2037–2053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moulaert, F., & Nussbaumer, J. (2005). Defining the social economy and its governance at the neighbourhood level: A Methodological reflection. Urban Studies, 42, 2071–2088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Muenkner, H. H. (2002). Organisierte Selbsthilfe gegen soziale Ausgrenzung: Multi-stakeholder Genossenschaften in der internationalen. Praxis: Berlin Cooperative Paper, issue 58, Berlin.Google Scholar
  36. Nilsson, J., & Hendrikse, G. (2011). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft in cooperatives. In M. Tuunanen, J. Windsperger, G. Cliquet, & G. Hendrikse (Eds.), New developments in the theory of networks. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag.Google Scholar
  37. North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Novy, A., Mehmood, A., Martinelli, F., & Moulaert, F. (2012). DEMOLOGOS methodology for the analysis of urban and regional trajectories. In F. Martinelli, F. Moulaert, & A. Novy (Eds.), Urban and regional development trajectories in contemporary capitalism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Osterloh, M., & Weibel, A. (2000). Ressourcensteuerung in Netzwerken: Eine Tragoedie der Allmende? In J. Sydow & A. Windeler (Eds.), Steuerung von Netzwerken. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Google Scholar
  40. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ostrower, F., & Stone, M. M. (2006). Governance: Research trends, gaps and future prospects. In W. Powell & R. Steinberg (Eds.), The nonprofit sector: A research handbook (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Ouchi, W. G. (1979). A conceptual framework for the design of organizational control mechanisms. Management Science, 25, 833–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pestoff, V. (2009). Towards a paradigm of democratic participation: Citizen participation and co-production of personal social services in Sweden. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 80, 197–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Province of Vorarlberg. (1999). Lebenswert Leben. Bregenz: Umweltinformationsdienst.Google Scholar
  45. Province of Vorarlberg. (2000). Handbuch Buergerbeteiligung fuer Land und Gemeinden. Bregenz: Buero fuer Zukunftsfragen.Google Scholar
  46. Purtschert, R. (1990). Zur Oekonomisierung der genossenschaftlich organisierten Wirtschaft. In J. Laurinkari (Ed.), Genossenschaftswesen: Hand- und Lehrbuch. Munich: Oldenbourg.Google Scholar
  47. Ramstad, Y. (1986). A Pragmatist’s quest for holistic knowledge: The scientific methodology of John R. Commons. Journal of Economic Issues, 20, 1067–1105.Google Scholar
  48. Reed, H., & Stanley, K. (2005). Co-operative social enterprise and its potential in public service delivery. London: Institute for Public Policy Research.Google Scholar
  49. Richardson, T., & Jensen, O. (2003). Linking discourse and space: Towards a cultural sociology of space in analysing spatial policy discourses. Urban Studies, 40, 7–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ringle, G. (1994). Corporate culture: In Genossenschaften “gelebte Werte”, Hamburger Beitraege zum Genossenschaftswesen, Issue 14, Hamburg.Google Scholar
  51. Roessl, D. (1996). Selbstverpflichtung als alternative Koordinationsform von komplexen Austauschbeziehungen. Zeitschrift fuer betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 48, 311–334.Google Scholar
  52. Rotter, J. B. (1971). Generalized expectancies for interpersonal trust. American Psychologist, 26, 443–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rousseau, D. M., & Fried, Y. (2001). Location, location, location: Contextualizing organizational research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rutherford, M. (1994). Institutions in economics. The old and the new institutionalism. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sayer, A. (1984). Method in social science: A realist approach. London: Hutchinson.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schon, D., & Rein, M. (1994). Frame reflection: Toward the resolution of intractable policy controversies. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  57. Scott, W. R. (1995). Institutions and organizations. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  58. Somerville, P. (2007). Co-operative identity. Journal of Cooperative Studies, 40, 5–17.Google Scholar
  59. Stoker, G. (1998). Governance as theory: Five propositions. International Social Science Journal, 50, 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Taylor, M. (2007). Community participation in the real world: Opportunities and pitfalls in new governance spaces. Urban Studies, 44, 297–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Toennies, F. (1963). Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, Wiss. Darmstadt: Buchgesellschaft.Google Scholar
  62. Valentinov, V. (2004). Toward a social capital theory of cooperative organization. Journal of Cooperative Studies, 37, 5–20.Google Scholar
  63. Williamson, O. E. (1975). Markets and hierarchies: Analysis and antitrust implications. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  64. Williamson, O. E. (1981). The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach. American Journal of Sociology, 87, 548–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Williamson, O. E. (2003). Examining economic organization through the lens of contract. Industrial and Corporate Change, 12, 917–942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Williamson, O. E. (2005). The economics of governance. AEA Papers and Proceedings, 95, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The John's Hopkins University 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RiCC – Research Institute for Co-operation and Co-operativesVienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations