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Open AccessArticle

What Are the Conflicting Tensions in an Italian Cooperative and How Do Members Manage Them? Business Goals’, Integrated Management, and Reduction of Waste within a Fruit and Vegetables Supply Chain

1
Department of Economics, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
2
Business Management Organization, Wageningen University and Research, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 3050; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073050
Received: 6 February 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2020 / Accepted: 30 March 2020 / Published: 10 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability)
Social enterprise is a model of hybrid organization driven by the need to generate positive externalities by reinvesting their surplus for social and environmental objectives. One of the biggest problems arising from joining financial goals with social goals is the presence of increasing tensions between the members and stakeholders involved. Nevertheless, there has not been enough focus on how managers, employees, and stakeholders respond to the tensions caused by contradictions and how they try to reach a balance between financial, environmental, and social goals. Therefore, the present study is aimed at investigating how members of an agricultural cooperative in the Apulia region (Italy) try to join the organizational forms of business and social values, namely, the sustainable practices related to CO2 emission reduction, resource use efficiency, and food waste mitigation. Additionally, the study goes further and explores whether and how these contradictory pressures are solved. Starting from the sensemaking approach, the study carried out an inductive case study through the use of a multiple case study design and in-depth interviews. The findings highlight the following two novel aspects: (1) Managers prefer to adopt a cumulative mitigating hybridization approach and (2) a weak integration can be noticed between social and commercial dimensions, originating from a lack of holistic perspective and poor interorganizational communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: social enterprises; hybrid organization; competing logics; agricultural cooperative; sustainable production social enterprises; hybrid organization; competing logics; agricultural cooperative; sustainable production
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pellegrini, G.; Annosi, M.C.; Contò, F.; Fiore, M. What Are the Conflicting Tensions in an Italian Cooperative and How Do Members Manage Them? Business Goals’, Integrated Management, and Reduction of Waste within a Fruit and Vegetables Supply Chain. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3050. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073050

AMA Style

Pellegrini G, Annosi MC, Contò F, Fiore M. What Are the Conflicting Tensions in an Italian Cooperative and How Do Members Manage Them? Business Goals’, Integrated Management, and Reduction of Waste within a Fruit and Vegetables Supply Chain. Sustainability. 2020; 12(7):3050. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073050

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pellegrini, Giustina; Annosi, Maria C.; Contò, Francesco; Fiore, Mariantonietta. 2020. "What Are the Conflicting Tensions in an Italian Cooperative and How Do Members Manage Them? Business Goals’, Integrated Management, and Reduction of Waste within a Fruit and Vegetables Supply Chain" Sustainability 12, no. 7: 3050. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073050

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