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Do Cooperatives with Better Economic–Financial Indicators also have Better Socioeconomic Performance?


The overall performance of cooperatives is related to economic–financial results and actions focused on benefits for their members. This study aims to examine the comparative performance of agro-industrial cooperatives considering the economic–financial and socioeconomic dimensions, the latter defined as performance regarding the fulfillment of economic relations with cooperative members. A sample of 25 agricultural cooperatives in the Brazilian Region of Paraná was used, involving a total of 120,000 cooperative members and 54,000 employees in 2014. Economic–financial performance was assessed by traditional indicators. To assess socioeconomic performance, the indicators were defined through experts’ perceptions of what characterizes good performance by a cooperative vis-à-vis the dual function of this type of organization: a society of people strengthening their activities, and marketing objectives strengthening the institution. The results achieved through a multi-criteria analysis and a correlation test indicated that, comparatively, cooperatives with better economic–financial performance did not necessarily achieve a superior socioeconomic performance.

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Fig. 1

Source: Retrieved from the Manual of good cooperative governance practices, published by Organização das Cooperativas Brasileiras [OCB], available at

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Fig. 3


  1. 1.

    One of the services a cooperative can offer to members is technical assistance, such as agronomy assistance, which is provided by technicians.


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Correspondence to Vilmar Rodrigues Moreira.

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Lauermann, G.J., Moreira, V.R., Souza, A. et al. Do Cooperatives with Better Economic–Financial Indicators also have Better Socioeconomic Performance?. Voluntas (2018).

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  • Performance of agricultural cooperatives
  • Economic–financial indicators
  • Socioeconomic indicators
  • Multi-criteria analysis