CIRIEC Nº 76 December 2012
ISBN: 978-84-95003-96-6 / 84-95003-96-1
The impact of economic crisis on Social Economy
How cooperatives societies face economic crisis in Spain: a comparison of careers based on the Continuous Sample of Working Lives Database
Authors: Beatriz Calderón Milán & María José Calderón Milán
Keywords: Cooperatives societies, wages, Continuous Sample of Working Lives (database), careers, economic crisis.
Econlit Keywords: C810, J210, J310, J540
Are cooperatives societies a more flexible form of organization for confronting recession and maintaining employment levels? Some research has shown that the impact of the crisis on unemployment seems weaker in cooperatives than in conventional companies: cooperative societies are better than others at maintaining job levels during periods of economic recession, as they adjust wages and working hours to the new situation and act as a refuge for some of the jobs that are destroyed in other companies. The aim of this research is to analyse the features of employment in cooperative societies that make them less sensitive to economic cycles, as well as a more stable source of employment. The main source of the data used is the Continuous Sample of Working Lives prepared by the Spanish Social Security in 2010 (MCVL2010). The analysis compares changes of employment in two groups of people, those working in cooperatives and in conventional companies. The situation of these two groups of people is compared in the periods before and during the economic crisis.
Institutional protection systems as an answer to the economic crisis by Spanish cooperative banks: seeking efficiency in concentration
Authors: Milagros Gutiérrez Fernández & Ricardo Palomo Zurdo
Keywords: Credit cooperatives, bank restructuring, IPS, efficiency, financial crisis.
Econlit Keywords: P130, G010, G340.
One of the main consequences of the economic and financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007 has been an acceleration of the restructuring processes in the Spanish banking system, which includes credit cooperatives. In view of this, the aim of this research is to analyse the decade before the concentration processes in this sector began, in order to study whether the rationale for the groups that have been set up was based on criteria of homogeneous performance (degree of efficiency) of the constituent entities. To this end, it examines the groups that existed beforehand. In other words, this article tries to study whether the groups that have been formed or projected have followed the recommendations of the Spanish Central Bank or, on the contrary, whether the choice between the different alternatives or processes has been made for different reasons.
Reset Economy and Social Economy
Authors: Isidro Antuñano Maruri & Agustín González Díaz
Keywords: Social economy, restructuring, entrepreneurship, resilience, business reaction, innovation.
Econlit Keywords: M190, L260, M140, N210.
Social economy enterprises in the Murcia Region and the effects of the economic crisis
Authors: Federico Martínez-Carrasco Pleite, José Andrés López Yepes & J. Longinos Marín Rives
Keywords: Social economy, economic crisis, expectations, micro-enterprises, innovation, Murcia Region of Spain.
Econlit Keywords: M290, M140, P130, L100, D222.
Spanish social economy enterprises (SEE), like capital-based ones, have been facing a general economic crisis since 2008. SEE in the Murcia region are no exception. They are mainly small and medium-sized companies and because of their lack of size and structure they face considerable competitive difficulties in fighting this situation. This paper is based on a survey of 102 social economy enterprises in the Murcia Region, essentially labour companies and cooperatives in the service and industrial sectors, which was conducted in early 2010. To examine the situation in which companies from these sectors – mostly micro-enterprises – find themselves, information was collected on their main ratios in 2009, their expectations and their assessment of the competitive context and the main difficulties they face in the current situation of economic and social crisis. The extensive questionnaire made it possible to classify these enterprises into four types, based on the evolution of their main economic ratios (jobs, sales, investment and profits), and in a second stage, to consider the relation with whether or not the companies had adopted active innovation strategies and strategic planning. This made it possible to define the companies that had been able to improve or at least maintain the levels of their principal ratios even in times of crisis.
Recovery of businesses by their workers in times of crisis: what can we learn from previous experiences?
Authors: Jorge Coque Martínez, Nuria López Mielgo & Enrique Loredo Fernández
Keywords: Recovered firms, employee ownership, crisis, promotion.
Econlit Keywords: D220, D230, G330, J540, M510.
In recent decades there have been many experiences of companies recovered by their workers, especially in Latin America and Europe. This accumulated know-how could be valuable in the current global crisis. The present article applies economic and organizational cooperativism theory and the resources and dynamic capabilities views of the firm to a case study of twelve worker takeovers in Asturias (Spain). The empirical work is based on in-depth interviews with two organizations that promote co-operatives, two business centres and two unions, as well as with current or former employees of twelve Asturian companies recovered by their workers. The study aims to identify possible success and failure factors, taking into account the initial situations, the external support received and the recovery processes themselves. The results make it possible to formulate some economic policy recommendations which are applicable in the current crisis.
The political economy of territorial social concertation in Spain and the inclusion/exclusion of the social economy in a context of crisis, with particular reference to the Territorial Agreements in the Valencia Region
Authors: Juan R. Gallego Bono & Josep V. Pitxer i Campos
Keywords: Cooperatives, social economy, interactive learning, local corporatism, Territorial Agreements for Employment.
Econlit Keywords: B520, D830, H700, L300, J540, J580.
Crises require the invention of institutions that make it possible to combine capital accumulation and social progress. Given the values and principles they express, greater development of cooperatives and the social economy and of their integration with the socio-economic system could improve the creativity and long-term prospects of the latter. So why does the social economy not play a more active part in social concertation in Spain or in the Valencia Region of this country? Based on an evolutionist/regulationist theoretical framework, this situation is ascribed both to the participants’ lack of support or opposition to the entry of new actors and to the organisational weakness of the cooperative movement itself. However, this paper shows that when social economy organisations take part in the social concert of a geographical area they make a difference, helping to bring about significant achievements in the areas of local development and structural change. This points to future lines of action.
Recovered companies in Argentina: a decade of the workers' fight for self-management
Authors: Juan Pablo Hudson
Keywords: Recovered factories, struggle for establishment, self-management, confidence, ethics of care, precariousness, markets.
Econlit Keywords: P130, A130, D790.
The deepening of the economic crisis and the processes that led to the disappearance of industrialization as a result of the systematic application of neoliberal politics in Argentina paved the way for a social phenomenon that has involved the recovery of more than 200 bankrupt companies. The companies which are managed by the workers themselves are an expression of creativity in the face of unemployment and its devastating effects. This article centres on a series of problematic situations concerning these cooperative experiences. Its most important aim is to analyse the opposing forces once the companies started to work. It explores the role of trust, the emergence of collective projects and the scope of an ethics of care in these typically precarious and risky experiences. Finally, an extensive paragraph is devoted to the complicated bond between the cooperatives and their respective markets when they sell their products.
Sustainable degrowth, environmental and economic crisis, inequality and the social economy
Authors: Emèrit Bono
Keywords: Economic and environmental crisis, sustainable degrowth, biophysical limits, inequality, competition for status, positional goods, social economy, common good.
Econlit Keywords: Q010, O440, P130.
We are living through a deep financial and economic crisis that is calling many aspects of the conventional economic model into question and, at the same time, through a wide-ranging environmental crisis as a result of the clash between that economic model and the biophysical limitations of our planet. All this has repercussions for the forms taken to date by the institutions and values of that model. This paper highlights the problem of sustainable degrowth, of inequality and its impact on environmental unsustainability, and its effect on the economic crisis, ending with a few remarks on the role that the social and solidarity economy can play at this time.
Marketing management practices in Portuguese cooperatives
Authors: Jorge de Sá
Keywords: Cooperatives, social economy, solidarity economy, relational marketing, transactional marketing.
Econlit Keywords: P130, M100, M310.
Cooperative principles and application of the EFQM model: effects on the strategic process of
Authors: Lorenzo Revuelto Taboada, Francisco Balbastre Benavent & Ana Redondo Cano
Keywords: Total quality management, EFQM excellence model, strategy formation process, case study, cooperative education centre.
Econlit Keywords: J540, L150, L100, M100, P130.
The specialist literature agrees to some extent on the positive relationship between the cooperative culture and the successful application of the EFQM model. There are differentiated perspectives with regard to the strategic capability of this model: one argues that the application of this model only involves strategy implementation, whilst the other considers that the model also involves strategy formulation. The goal of this paper is twofold: firstly, to analyse whether there is a synergistic relationship between the effective application of the cooperative principles and the employment of the EFQM model and secondly, to study the influence of EFQM implementation on the strategy formation process. The case study of a cooperative offers an initial approach to the problem researched. The results show a positive relationship between the cooperative principles and successful application of the EFQM model, as well as a shift towards a more rational and systematized strategy formation process.
Agri-food cooperative websites: background and consequences of their adoption
Authors: Erasmo Isidro López Becerra, Narciso Arcas Lario & Francisco Alcón Provencio
Keywords: Agri-food cooperatives, Internet, websites.
Econlit Keywords: P130, O310, Q130.
Currently, agro-food cooperatives have not been making widespread use of websites despite the potential benefits of their successful integration and management. The advantages that websites offer include ease and reliability in processing orders, the increased quality of the services offered and improving relations with their stakeholders. In this context, the objective of this paper is to explore the level of website use among agri-food cooperatives, examining the history behind their adoption and the consequences of their implementation. For this purpose, it proposes a theoretical framework to identify these factors and reports on an empirical study of information obtained from a survey of Spanish agri-food cooperatives. The results of the study indicate that the adoption of websites is favoured by the site not being perceived as complex and by the managers having more training, among other factors. In view of these findings, it is suggested that it is important to make a more advanced use of the service, relating it correctly to the achievement of the company’s objectives, in order to increase the adoption and extent of website use.