On the theoretical level, our work has allowed us to develop three key ideas on which is based our conception of the management of cooperatives. First, a cooperative equilibrium model that aligns values and cooperative principles leading to a proper management framework better adapted for cooperatives. A second key model, developed in the late 1990s, introduces what we have called the identity malaise observed in many cooperatives. This identity malaise needs to be understood for a solution to be found. The third key model in our management approach to cooperative identifies the strategic levers leading to what we have named a new cooperative paradigm (NPC). Started more than 20 years ago, this reflection leads us today to recognize a significant competitive advantage inherent in cooperative organizations.
The basic idea of this NPC is focused on finding inherent benefits embedded in the cooperative values and principles when confronted with current and future market challenges, compared to other modes of organization. Today, our vision of these challenges is fuelled by the recognition of emerging strategies namely the congruence of organization-employee values, the shift from customer orientation to engagement orientation to enhance customer loyalty, the feeling of psychological ownership as a differentiator and the democratization and value cocreation process.
This book also presents several cases studies of cooperatives in different sectors (agricultural, credit union, insurance, food retail). These cases were written over the last 20 years. They illustrate the different facets and components of the three ideas (models) at the heart of this book.
Daniel Côté was a professor at HEC Montréal (business school) from 1983 to 2013. He taught mainly corporate strategy. He has been researching cooperatives for more than 30 years. His main concern has always been the management of cooperatives in a competitive environment.
Since 2006, he teaches a graduate course on cooperative management in an online program at Saint Mary’s University, Sobey School of Business, Co-operative Management Education (Halifax, Nova Scotia). He also developed an executive seminar on the cooperative management that has been offered in Canada and internationally since 2014.