CIRIEC Nº 82 December 2014
Companies recovered as workers' cooperatives in Uruguay: from crisis to opportunity
Authors: Juan Pablo Martí, Florencia Thul & Valentina Cancela
Keywords: Business history, recovered companies, worker cooperatives, Uruguay.
Econlit Keywords: J540, P130, N860, G330.
In recent times, in different parts of the world, we have witnessed a renewed interest in worker cooperatives that arise through recovering a company in crisis. Nevertheless, this article argues that recovering companies as worker cooperatives is not a new trend in the economic history of Uruguay but, rather, a continuation of earlier practicesFaced with capitalist companies in crisis and the possibility of ending up unemployed, the opportunity to organize new self-managed companies presents itself to the workers. This article shows the long history of the phenomenon of recovering companies in the form of worker cooperatives, drawing on an analysis of the documents in the archive of the Uruguayan worker cooperative federation (Federación de Cooperativas de Producción del Uruguay – FCPU), on interviews with knowledgeable members of the cooperatives and on a historical review.For presentation purposes, the results are divided into three periods of time which represent three different stages in the history of recovering companies as worker cooperatives. The conclusions examine to what extent recovered companies signify an opportunity for workers.
The Fagor Ederlan cooperative: lean manufacturing as a management model
Authors: Rafael Altuna & Eguzki Urteaga
Keywords: Mondragon cooperatives, Fagor Ederlan, management model, quality.
Econlit Keywords: A130, A140, B520, D020, D700, D740, L600.
This article analyses the way in which the Mondragon Group’s Fagor Ederlan cooperative has created and developed his own management model and dynamics within the Corporate Management Model framework. It highlights that the management model applied has been geared to achieving economic efficiency and, for this reason, the lean-production system was chosen. The application of this production system has achieved high levels of economic efficiency, but also of social tensions. While this management model has tried to generate new organizational meaning of a more business-focused character, it has been introduced with little participation by the cooperative’s workers, in an orthodox way, and without sufficiently considering the cognitive, normative and regulatory features of the organization, which partly explains the social tensions it has generated. In this sense, the Fagor Ederlan management model does not respond to the expectations generated in the cooperative of a system that would overcome Taylorist dynamics. In fact, the lean production methods have entailed greater demands and effort for the workers that have gone unrewarded, therefore their degree of satisfaction in the work has been affected. Likewise, the methods and tools applied have made it difficult for them to participate and enrich the tasks they carry out, since these are decided in a rigid way, giving few possibilities for participation, and repetitively, limiting any creativity in applying knowledge.
The internationalization process and the results of innovations in social economy companies in Andalusia
Authors: Macarena Pérez-Suárez & Francisco Espasandín Bustelo
Keywords: International orientation, innovation, internationalization process, social economy, economic results.
Econlit Keywords: F430, M160, O030, P130.
The impact of the internationalization of social economy companies generates balanced profit and loss accounts (triple bottom line) and spreads still further a way of doing business which focuses on a socially sustainable production economy, at a great distance from the speculative economy.Previous evidence of the differential and strategic fact of social economy companies and their need to internationalize in order to guarantee their sustainability triggered this investigation. Its aim was to generate knowledge about the international orientation of cooperative companies and worker-owned companies in Andalusia and to link this to their economic results and the outcome of their innovations.Confirming the Uppsala Model through the international orientation status of social economy companies in Andalusia, this paper shows how a series of specific factors, in addition to the relationship with increasing commercial innovation, have an impact on this orientation.
Inclusion of local agricultural cooperatives in global value chains – The case of the citrus growing system in the province of Corrientes (Argentina)
Authors: Ronald Soleno Wilches
Keywords: Local production systems, agricultural cooperatives, global value chains, sweet citrus fruit.
Econlit Keywords: J540, P130, Q130, Q170.
This paper addresses the inclusion of agricultural cooperatives in global value chains (GVCs). It focuses on the citrus production system in the southeast of Corrientes province, analysing two export-oriented cooperatives. The study was conducted in a context in which agricultural and food production systems have shifted from a traditional model, based on producing for local markets, to agrifood systems with a global scope. The results of this analysis reveal the importance of strategies to upgrade products, processes and functional aspects, including certification of quality and food safety protocols, investment in technology and brand positioning and marketing in the international context. Together with reshaping internal institutional structures, these strategies have enabled the cases studied to join a buyer-driven GVC where the prevalent form of governance is relational.
The Social Economy and Food Sovereignty. Contributions of agroecological producer and consumer cooperative societies and associations to local wellbeing
Authors: Mar Cabanes Morote & José Daniel Gómez López
Keywords: Food sovereignty, social economy, producer and consumer cooperatives, short-chain marketing channels, local development.
Econlit Keywords: Q010, Q020, Q180, Q560, R580.
The current context of global crisis, which affects the integral well-being of persons and communities, suggests the need to look for alternatives and for new models of economic, social, cultural and political development that are actually sustainable, both ecologically and over time.The present article addresses the basis of food sovereignty, as the right of peoples to construct their own food and agriculture systems and as a fundamental principle of local well-being.It proposes taking dynamization and recovery action for rural areas by promoting short-chain marketing channels, an innovative and agroecological initiative for rural development, and calls for their promotion by endogenous agents, especially in the social and solidary economy, based on initiatives that have been implemented successfully in Spain.
Agricultural cooperativism and its contribution to rural development. The experience of the Agricultural Union of Avellaneda (Argentina)
Authors: Marcelo Sili, Juan Sanguinetti & Andres Meiller
Keywords: Agricultural cooperatives, rural development, Argentina, farmers.
Econlit Keywords: O130, P480, P130, R110, R120.
Agricultural cooperatives are going through a process of restructuring and changing their production model. As a result, they have begun to assume other roles than the classic meaning of cooperativism. However, they are still a system of economic and social organization that is able to combine production development with local and regional economic development. This paper seeks to analyse the specific contribution of the cooperative system to the local and regional rural development process, studying the case and experience of the Unión Agrícola de Avellaneda. The secondary data was obtained from national and provincial sources. Primary information was acquired through a survey of 150 farmers and qualitative information from numerous interviews with economic agents in the area.
Discovering local private social investors: a study in the greater Florianópolis region
Authors: Carolina Andion, Danilo José Alano Melo & Elaine Cristina de Oliveira Menezes
Keywords: Private social investment, individuals, organizations, civic participation.
Econlit Keywords: A130, D200, D640, D700, L330, M140.
This article summarizes the results of research carried out in the Greater Florianópolis region of Brazil with the aim of comprehending the demographic profile of social investors, discovering the characteristics of the investments they have made, examining how their relationship with their beneficiaries works and fathoming their motivations and expectations. It analyses the patterns of Private Social Investments (PSI) made locally and ascertains to what extent this practice contributes to promoting civic participation. The methodology used was quantitative, administering questionnaires to 1155 individuals and 43 organizations from different sectors in the region. The results, which were analysed globally, highlight the challenges of managing the PSI and the prospects and limits of this practice as a vector for civic participation.
The role played by the social economy in public procurement by the basque government between 2010 and 2012
Authors: Jesús Mª García Aréjula y Baleren Bakaikoa Azurmendi
Keywords: Public procurement, social economy, contracting authorities, econometrics, e-government, ICT (information and communication technologies) services.
Econlit Keywords: A130, C190, D730, H570.
Public procurement is a major source of demand for goods and services, especially in the Basque Country region of Spain, where the autonomous government, also called the Basque General Administration, plays a key role as a contracting authority. The social economy also plays a very substantial role in the Basque Economy, not only because of its contribution to employment and GDP but also because of its tradition and social roots. Consequently, it is worth considering the role played by the social economy in public procurement by the Basque General Administration, what kind of contracts it obtains and how they are awarded, the amounts of public money involved in these contracts and, ultimately, whether its role as a public contractor matches the part it plays in the Basque economy as a whole. A review and analysis of contracts awarded by the Basque government published online has yielded sufficient data on which to base a diagnosis that answers these questions and exposes the weakness of the Social Economy in the area of regional government procurement in the Basque Country.
The place of the social economy in the new economic and social governance of the EU
Authors: Laura Gómez Urquijo
Keywords: European Union, economic governance, social economy.
Econlit Keywords: I380, P130, L310.
The aim of this article is to analyse the role allotted to the social economy in the latest EU initiative to be proposed since the crisis. After the launch of Strategy 2020, and in view of the difficulties in meeting its aims due to the crisis, we focus on the start-up of the new architecture of governance in the EU. Based initially on fiscal discipline, it progressively adds social goals, supervising and influencing their achievement, while control of public expenditure and the different recommendations for coordinating social and economic policies constitute a framework that concerns the social economy. In relation to this, we pay attention to the different initiatives connected with promoting social values in the market as well as to those that assign a specific function to the social economy in the search for answers to the crisis.
Tax collection and corporation tax benefits for cooperatives. Analysis and evolution
Authors: Mª José Portillo Navarro
Keywords: Social economy, cooperatives, tax benefits, corporation income tax.
Econlit Keywords: P130, H600, H250, K340.
Cooperatives enjoy a number of corporation tax benefits. They are laid out in the corporation tax rules and quantified in the Tax Relief Budget, which details those that affect taxation revenue and the profit-and-loss-related variables that decide the amounts payable. In this paper, we analyse the tax rules governing cooperatives and recent changes to them, the budgeted tax reliefs available in relation to cooperatives, the economic and financial figures and related ratios and the tax variables. Finally, we make proposals that may serve to improve the economic and fiscal management of these social economy organizations.