A cooperative business consists of a cooperative society and a cooperative business firm. The society of members intends to control the business in such a way as to focus the business operations on its interests. The two organizational units tend, however, to follow different behavioral logics. Borrowing some core concepts from classical sociology, Gemeinschaft norms rule ruling within the membership, while Gesellschaft norms dominate the business firms. Thereby it may be difficult to accomplish alignment between the membership organization and the business organization in order to be competitive. This paper addresses the difficulties of following the different logics by exploring Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft within agricultural cooperatives with a focus on the membership logics.

alignment, cooperative, gemeinschaft, gesellschaft, membership
Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior (jel L2), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Business Administration: General (jel M10), Personnel Management (jel M12)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/17528
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Nillson, J, & Hendrikse, G.W.J. (2009). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft in Cooperatives (No. ERS-2009-059-ORG). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/17528