The uniform co-operative value core – Evidence from Austria

Gregor Rabong, Stefan Radakovics

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Co-operative enterprises differ from other organizations since their values are influenced by historical co-operative principles set out by their pioneers, which leads to the establishment of a uniform value core across co-operatives that operate in different sectors. Despite their dense constitutive roots, co-operatives adapt to their environment as a means to survive and thrive, which influences their appearance vis-á-vis members and customers. Until now, an empirical comparison of co-operatives across sectors remained unexplored despite various sources that suggest that a uniform co-operative identity for co-operatives of different industries may exist. This article fills this gap by uncovering parallels and deviations in the perception of values of credit co-operatives, housing co-operatives as well as a mixed general group of co-operatives. To this end, a principal component analysis (PCA) is applied to condense the set of values of the co-operative industries to underlying factors. The findings uncover that the perception of co-operatives of different sectors can be reduced to congruent value cores, which for each sector comprise the subsequent three components: “responsible business conduct”, “regionality and tradition” and “economic soundness”. Furthermore, Austrian co-operatives differentiate themselves from other legal forms with regard to a number of characteristics that belong to these components.
FachzeitschriftJournal of Co-operative Organization and Management
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

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