The strategic behaviour of cooperativestheir adaptive cycle

  1. García Pérez, Ana María 1
  2. Yanes Estévez, Vanessa 1
  3. Román Cervantes, Cándido 1
  4. González Dávila, Enrique 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna (España)
REVESCO: revista de estudios cooperativos

ISSN: 1135-6618

Year of publication: 2024

Issue: 146

Type: Article

DOI: 10.5209/REVE.93672 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDialnet editor

More publications in: REVESCO: revista de estudios cooperativos


Among other factors, the performance and competitiveness of agri-food cooperatives depend on their strategy (Bijman, 2012; Mckee, 2008; Pashkova, et al., 2009). This research explores the strategic behaviour of cooperatives in depth following the strategic typology of Miles and Snow (1978). One important contribution is that the study considers the fit (the adaptive cycle) within and between the features or problems that define cooperatives’ strategic behaviour; entrepreneurial, technological, and administrative problems. Managers of agrifood cooperatives in the Canary Islands (Spain) answered a questionnaire which provided the information needed to make the analysis. The results show that agri-food cooperatives adopt an analyser or hybrid strategic behaviour that seeks to balance efficiency and cost control with innovation. No significant differences were found in any of the strategic problems related to cooperative size. However, differences do emerge in some of the items when analysed individually. For example, in microenterprises, higher management positions tend to be occupied more by members who are promoted from within than by external professionals. There is a high strategic fit within the entrepreneurial problem, but quite a scant fit between this problem and the others. Cooperatives' strategic planning presents an inverse alignment with their organisation and activity scope. Technology does not seem to be aligned with the other strategic problems, especially vis-à-vis several aspects related to the administrative problem. Planning thus seems to be these organisations’ main weakness. In this paper, the three problems of the Miles and Snow (1978) typology are explicitly considered as are the relations between them. This allows us to approach the degree of alignment or fit between them and thus fill the existing gap in management literature with regard to cooperatives.

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