Member Heterogeneity and Exit

  • Julia HöhlerEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Members of cooperatives are becoming increasingly diverse and heterogeneous. Scholars have argued that this is problematic for cooperatives. Therefore, one might expect that many members leave the cooperative. However, this conclusion does not fit with the reality in which cooperatives continue to exist. Based on the work of Hirschman as well as different theories of collective action, fairness, and identity, a theoretical framework is developed to account for this observation. The identified factors provide starting points for cooperatives to retain their members even with increasing heterogeneity.


Member heterogeneity Cooperatives Hirschman Fairness Identity 



The author thanks the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the financial support of her stay at the Center for the Study of Co-operatives (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada). In addition, she thanks the Center for the instructive and enjoyable stay.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Farm and Agribusiness Management, Justus Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany

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