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Exploring the Sustainability of the Cooperative Model in Dairy: The Case of the Netherlands
Open AccessEditorial

Cooperative Longevity: Why Are So Many Cooperatives So Successful?

Agricultural Economics Research Institute (AGRERI), Nik. Chlorou 1, 115 28 Athens, Greece
Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), and Interdisciplinary Research Unit on Cooperative Studies, Martin Luther University, Große Steinstrasse 73, 06099 Halle, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3449;
Received: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Longevity: Why are So Many Cooperatives So Successful?)
Despite popular misconceptions, cooperatives present a very successful organizational form worldwide. A recent study found that in the U.S., for example, 134 agricultural cooperatives celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2014. This observation on cooperative longevity is not matched by a corresponding research effort on what makes cooperatives so successful. Most of the extant research seems to focus on intra-cooperative problems that posit significant challenges to cooperatives. This special issue of Sustainability bridges the considerable gap between scholarly work and reality. By focusing on what makes cooperatives so successful for such a long period of time, this issue sheds light on key aspects of cooperative longevity. Bridging social capital, fundamental solutions to excessive heterogeneity-induced high ownership costs, tinkering, cooperative genius, and superior capacity to adapt to shocks and changes are among the factors identified to explain extended cooperative longevity. The insights thereby gained are useful to students of cooperatives, practitioners, and policy makers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cooperatives; longevity; organizational costs; systems thinking cooperatives; longevity; organizational costs; systems thinking
MDPI and ACS Style

Iliopoulos, C.; Valentinov, V. Cooperative Longevity: Why Are So Many Cooperatives So Successful? Sustainability 2018, 10, 3449.

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