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Abstract

Italian agro-food cooperatives are involved in mergers, acquisition and alliances processes, that require a renovating model of membership management. Wine cooperatives are particularly dynamic in this context. The aim of the research is to identify new integration patterns between the cooperative and its members, starting from the analysis of the members’ structural and strategic choices. The research has been conducted in a wine cooperative of Veneto Region. Five elements of differentiation have been discussed and moving from five clusters of members, a linear regression model has been applied. The actual mechanism of patronage return does not comprehend the complexity of membership, but it confirms the hypothesis that the cooperative should follow differerentiated integration strategies for the diverse typologies of members. The large structural, strategic, social-demographic and cultural heterogeneity of the members (especially in the big cooperatives) suggests to foresee different patterns in term of development projects, in order to propose diverse solutions for new investment initiatives and the quality improvement of deliveries, ensuring a more widespread satisfaction of stakeholders’ expectations.

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