Social Economy Organizations in a World in Transition

  • Alfonso Vargas
Part of the Applied Optimization book series (APOP, volume 19)


This paper considers the role of the so-called third or “social economy” sector in the context of the profound structural changes which the world economy is now undergoing and which are delineating an ever broader range of social needs that are met neither by governmental action nor by conventional capitalist business enterprises. With a view to defining organizations in this sector in terms of their entrepreneurial nature, we introduce the concept of a democratically run “participation enterprise”, the main embodiment of which is the cooperative. Another prominent feature is the harmony between the nature of a cooperative, certain values that are deeply rooted in today’s society and some trends in modern business management.


Social economy Cooperatives Participation enterprises 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barea, J., Monzón, J.L. (1996), Informe sobre la situación de las cooperativas y las sociedades laborales en España, CIRIEC-España, Valencia.Google Scholar
  2. Carrasco, M. (1996), La figura del empresario y las iniciativas empresariales en el horizonte del siglo XXi Publications Service of the University of Huelva, Huelva.Google Scholar
  3. Chaves, R. (1996), La cooperación empresarial en la economía social. Valencia: CIRIEC-España.Google Scholar
  4. Fifth European Social Economy Conference (1997), The contribution of Cooperatives, Mutualities and Associations to strengthening social well-being and increasing employment, Instituto Nacional de Fomento de la Economía Social, Madrid.Google Scholar
  5. García-Gutiérrez, C. (1991), “La economía social o la economía de las empresas de participación (las sociedades cooperativas y laborales)”, in: Varios, En memoria de M a Angeles Gil Luezas, Madrid, Alfa Centauro, 195–216.Google Scholar
  6. García-Gutiérrez, C. (1992), “Precisiones acerca de algunos tópicos confusos sobre la sociedad cooperativa”, in: Varios, Tempori Serviendum, Homenaje al Prof. Dr. Jaime Gil Aluja, Santiago de Compostela, Milladoiro, 155–168.Google Scholar
  7. García-Gutiérrez, C. (1995), “The ‘Social Economy’ (?) or the Democratic Entrepreneurs in the Spanish Economy”, Social Economy and Social Participation, Third International Institute for Self-Management Conference 1995, Hondarribia (Guipúzcoa), 25–29 September 1995, Madrid, Marcial Pons, 149–160.Google Scholar
  8. Gasalla, J.M. (1997), “Un nuevo paradigma organizativo”, Paper presented at the International Symposium on ‘Cooperativism and Participation in business management in the 21st century’, Vitoria, 19–21 March 1997, in: Book of Official Transactions, Bilbao, Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa, 19–31.Google Scholar
  9. Lejarriaga, G.R. (1996), “La Unión Europea, la preocupación por el empleo y las empresas de participación”, Revista de Debate sobre la Economía Pública, Social y Cooperativa, CIRIEC-España, No. 22, July, 127 – 154.Google Scholar
  10. Monzón, J.L. (1992), “La economía social: tercer sector de un nuevo escenario”, in: Monzón, J.L. and Defourny, J. (eds.), Economía Social, Entre Economía Capitalista y Economía Pública. Valencia, CIRIEC-España, 11–16.Google Scholar
  11. Rodrigo, B. (1993), Excelencia y calidad en la sociedad cooperativa, Doctoral thesis, UNED.Google Scholar
  12. Suárez, A.S. (1997), “Economía y organización social”, Speech delivered on the occasion of receiving his Honorary Doctorate from the University of Seville.Google Scholar
  13. U.N.O. (1996), “The role of cooperatives in the light of new economic and social trends”, Secretary General’s Report to the United Nations General Assembly.Google Scholar
  14. Vargas, A. (1995), “La identidad cooperativa y la cooperativa como empresa: luces y sombras”, Revista de Estudios Cooperativos (REVESCO) 61, 179–191.Google Scholar
  15. Vargas, A. (1997), “De la participación en la empresa a la empresa de participación democrática”, Paper presented at the International Symposium on ‘Cooperativism and Participation in business management in the 21st century’, Vitoria, 19–21 March 1997.Google Scholar
  16. Vargas, A., Marin, P. and Garrido, J. (1997), “La gestión participativa y las organizaciones de participación democrática”, Paper presented at the 11 th National Congress and 7th Hispano-French Congress of AEDEM, Lleida, 17–20 June 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfonso Vargas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Administration and MarketingUniversity of HuelvaSpain

Personalised recommendations