What is the impact of democratic control on cooperative decision making? The purpose of this article is to present a conceptual framework for the analysis of democratic control. It suggests that democratic control does not guarantee optimal decisions for the cooperative. Suboptimal decisions result from simple majority rule, the activity of cooperative interest groups, members pursuing their interests to the detriment of the cooperative firm, and management pursuing its interests at the expense of the membership. This paper also outlines strategies cooperatives can adopt to correct the problems due to democratic control.


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