What difference does it make whether farmers are served by cooperatives or investor owned firms? Are these two forms of organizations really different? Cooperative ownership principles result in owners being more interdependent and interactive with managers of the work organization than do investor ownership principles. This difference results in a difference in manager roles and cooperative firm behavior unless the interdependence and interaction is offset by technological constraints, complexity, product diversity, and rate of change in the environment. Institutional Analysis and Organizational Behavior-Contingency Theory are used to link the influence of ownership principles and task environment to managerial role behavior.