Theoretical and Empirical Studies on Cooperatives: Lessons for Cooperatives in South Africa
Modern cooperatives have been instrumental in uplifting the social and economic conditions of people around the world since their emergence in England in 1844. As an economic model that seeks to advance members’ collective interests, the cooperative movement has come to be viewed as an invaluable tool for human and economic development. Over the years, the cooperative movement has transformed from being an economic model mainly for the poor and vulnerable to becoming a significant actor in the global economy. Despite the growing significance of the cooperative model, a number of challenges continue to preclude cooperatives in South Africa from attaining their esteemed socio-economic ideals. Against the backdrop of the increasing global recognition of the roles of cooperatives in socio-economic development, this book seeks to present selected studies on the cooperative movement and draw important lessons for South Africa. This book comprises both theoretical and empirical works.
The chapters were selected on the basis that they provide valuable lessons for the South African cooperative sector. The theoretical chapters in the volume engage debates on the meaning, values relevance, and application of the concept of cooperatives while empirical chapters present pertinent lessons about factors that facilitate the success of cooperatives. There are two chapters on the South African cooperative sector in the book. The first chapter presents a history of the country’s cooperative sector and attempt to demonstrate how the country’s political system has and continues to influence the cooperative sector. The second chapter presents a case study of a secondary cooperative and outlines the constraints faced by the country’s cooperatives. It is expected that contributions in this book will translate into novel analytical frameworks, conceptual approaches, and empirical accounts of how the cooperative movement in South Africa can be strengthened. Resources contained in the volume are valuable for academics, policymakers, development practitioners, students and members of cooperatives.