A comparative institutional economics approach is used to investigate the question of whether the governance structure of cooperatives is flawed in ways that would make it an inefficient or ineffective organization form for the political-social-economic environment at this turn to the new century. Cooperatives in four settings around the globe were studied intensively. The findings suggest that, while greater use of federated cooperatives and co-op-IOF hybrid models is required, the cooperative may be an ideal economic organization form to deal with the complexities of a global society in the century ahead.


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