Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft in Cooperatives

  • Jerker Nilsson
  • George Hendrikse
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


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 within the memberships, 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.


Forest Owner Dairy Farmer Member Organization Business Partner Business Firm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rotterdam School of ManagementErasmus UniversityRotterdamNetherlands

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