Cooperatives’ Internal and External Social Networks and Size

  1. Vanessa Yanes Estévez 1
  2. Ana García Pérez 1
  3. Enrique González Dávila 1
  4. Cándido Román Cervantes 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España


International Journal of Co-Operative Accounting and Management

ISSN: 2561-7907

Year of publication: 2022

Volume: 5

Issue: 1

Pages: 8-26

Type: Article

More publications in: International Journal of Co-Operative Accounting and Management


Under the perspective of social capital and social networks, this work analyses agrifoodcooperatives' internal and external social networks and if they are conditioned by their size. A questionnaireabout internal and external social networks was answered by managers of agrifood cooperatives in theCanary Islands (Spain).The results show that there is an intense interaction both inside and outside the cooperatives, through veryfrequent contacts among members, managerial teams, customers and other external agents. Size only hasan impact on the kinship or friendship ties. They differ depending on the number of employees of thecooperatives: there are more kinship and friendship ties in most of the smaller cooperatives.As implications from these results, cooperatives' managers should be aware that theirsocial ties make themdifferent from the rest of firms. Social capital facilitates innovation and the exchange of information.Managers must favour its development. They must also focus on managing the information that flowsthrough the diverse interorganisational and interpersonal relations in the cooperatives in an integrated waywith their strategy.This article contributes to the literature analysing organisational social capital of agrifood cooperatives, itselements, and its origin with respect to internal and external social networks. This paper also participatesin the debate on the appropriateness of cooperatives' growth by linking their social networks to their size.