Co-operative governance and the public interest: Between control and autonomy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Co-operatives are jointly owned by their member-users, who also democratically control the enterprise. In turn, all members share the benefits of co-operatives. Thus far, not much is understood about the role of the regulator vis-à-vis the co-operative board in the governance of the claimed, social enterprise. The objectives of this study are to evaluate co-operative governance from the public interest perspective and provide narratives of the nature of governance practices for accountability of Malaysian co-operatives. This study adapts a public interest view borrowed from the political theory framework as proposed by Cochran (1974) for the evaluation of governance practices in relation to co-operatives' accountability. Data was collected through in-depth interviews. The framework suggests co-operatives follow a consensualist view, responsible to the specific community or members they serve, which demands a certain degree of autonomy to operate effectively. The description of the nature of control over co-operatives and the public's interest in co-operatives that this study provides, recommends control by regulators is, to a certain extent, needed in order for co-operatives to be effective in discharging their accountabilities as there are a lack of members' activism and co-operative board competency inherent the industry in Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJurnal Pengurusan
Volume51
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Governance
Public interest
Autonomy
Accountability
Malaysia
In-depth interviews
Social enterprise
Activism
Political theory
Evaluation
Industry
Competency

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Autonomy
  • Co-operative governance
  • Public interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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title = "Co-operative governance and the public interest: Between control and autonomy",
abstract = "Co-operatives are jointly owned by their member-users, who also democratically control the enterprise. In turn, all members share the benefits of co-operatives. Thus far, not much is understood about the role of the regulator vis-{\`a}-vis the co-operative board in the governance of the claimed, social enterprise. The objectives of this study are to evaluate co-operative governance from the public interest perspective and provide narratives of the nature of governance practices for accountability of Malaysian co-operatives. This study adapts a public interest view borrowed from the political theory framework as proposed by Cochran (1974) for the evaluation of governance practices in relation to co-operatives' accountability. Data was collected through in-depth interviews. The framework suggests co-operatives follow a consensualist view, responsible to the specific community or members they serve, which demands a certain degree of autonomy to operate effectively. The description of the nature of control over co-operatives and the public's interest in co-operatives that this study provides, recommends control by regulators is, to a certain extent, needed in order for co-operatives to be effective in discharging their accountabilities as there are a lack of members' activism and co-operative board competency inherent the industry in Malaysia.",
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