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Co-Operatives in a Global Economy

Co-Operatives in a Global Economy (Hardback)

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In their efforts to internationalize in the emerging global economy, co-operatives not only face a variety of problems that are common to all firms, but encounter specific challenges due to their particular value commitments, forms of incorporation and organizational structures. These features of cooperatives are generally seen as a major source of competitive disadvantages and may cause significant trade-offs, forcing cooperatives to choose between living up to their principles of member ownership and control and remaining economically viable. Critics argue that such trade-offs signal the increasing irrelevance of cooperatives in a global economy. Advocates, however, counter that cooperatives may have unique competitive advantages which can be exploited in a global economy and that current trade-offs facing cooperatives can be overcome with the development of new international and transnational cooperative institutions and practices. Cooperatives, they claim, represent a much more sustainable and equitable form of production and may form the basis for viable, alternative approaches to development.

This collection examines these debates about the roles of cooperatives in our increasingly global economy.

Darryl Reed is an Associate Professor in the Business and Society program at York University. His areas of research include business ethics, business and development, fair trade, community economic development, corporate social responsibility and corporate accountability movements. He has published in a range of business and economic ethics journals, including Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Business Ethics: A European Review, and the International Journal of Social Economics. He is co-editor of Corporate Governance, Economic Reforms and Development: The Case of India (2003). J.J. McMurtry is an Assistant Professor in the Business and Society Program at York University. He is active within the co-operative movement in Ontario, Canada and sits on the board of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC). His teaching and research focuses on the social, political, and economic roles which the social economy, and specifically co-operatives, play in generating alternative economic theory and practice. He has published in such journals as the Journal of Business Ethics and the International Journal of Social Economics.

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