Empirical evidence has shown that cooperatives are diverse organizations that efficaciously address a plurality of socio-economic needs. Cooperative organizations are effective in provisioning for myriad life needs, and do so in more democratic and sustainable ways than investor-owned firms.
Rooted in the unique principles and values that distinguish them from other business types, cooperatives, in a nutshell, embody what has been called “the cooperative advantage”. This special issue of the Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, “The Cooperative Advantage for Community Development”, was organized to highlight the myriad roles that cooperatives can and do have in protecting and developing communities, as well as the possible tensions and challenges that emerge in the process.
Including seven articles from established and upcoming cooperative studies scholars, the special issue critically assesses diverse experiences of co-ops deployed for community development. Via papers engaged in case study approaches, political economy perspectives, critical historical research, and qualitative and quantitative methods, this special issue of JEOD critically reflects on and contributes to understanding the role of cooperatives in grounding bottom-up and locally based community development.
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