Italian cooperatives

Bibliography

  • Cardinale, Roberto et al. “Italian Social Cooperatives and Trade Unions in the Crisis Era.” Generazioni Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, date unknown.
  • Dorigatti, Lisa. “Workers' cooperatives and the transformation of value chains: Exploiting institutional loopholes and reducing labour costs.” Presentation at Cooperative Pathways Meeting, University of Padua. June 8, 2017.
  • Fici, Antonio. “Cooperation among Cooperatives in Italian and Comparative Law.” Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity 4, no. 2 (2015).
    • Explores the legal implementation of the new ICA principle of cooperation among cooperatives, focusing on the Italian case
    • Roots of cooperation among cooperatives in the early wholesale federations of English consumer co-ops
    • ILO (2002) recommends that ICA principles be regarded as legally binding
    • Italian case
      • Explores the model of Italian co-ops owning parts or wholes of capitalistic companies, sometimes as joint enterprises among co-ops
      • Or “joint cooperative group,” a more flexible form of cooperative integration than the secondary cooperative, allowing for more flexible withdrawal
      • Legally recognized co-op associations perform audits of their members; independent co-ops are audited directly by the state, at the co-ops' expense.
      • 3 percent of co-ops' annual profits must go to the associations' mutual funds, and upon dissolution the value of a co-op goes to the funds as well.
    • “Although law is important to cooperative integration, cooperatives have been shown to cooperate even in the absence of substantial legal regulation”
    • Concludes by emphasizing three aspects of cooperation: laws “that promote inter-cooperation by incentivizing (rather than by obligating) cooperatives to integrate; that obligate cooperatives to contribute to the development of the cooperative movement and ensure that these compulsory contributions are used effectively in the interest of the cooperative movement; and, finally, that provide for a (secondary) cooperative as the default structure for integration”
  • Fici, Antonio. “Financial Participation by Employees in Co-operatives in Italy.” The Co-operative College.
  • Hancock, Matt. Compete to Cooperate: The Cooperative District of Imola. Bacchilega Editore, 2007.
  • An Introduction to Cooperation. Confcooperative Emilia-Romagna.
    • Social co-ops, by law, provide: “a) educational and health services, b)agricultural, industrial, commercial activities directed towards the employment of disadvantaged people” (4)
    • Co-ops can connect together into a “Joint Cooperative Group” to manage a common business
    • The Italian constitution recognizes the value and right to cooperative enterprise
    • Confcooperative Emilia-Romagna is the Christian co-op association in the region. It has various sub-federations based on sector.
    • Openup is a platform for inter-cooperative collaboration (a blog, a Twitter account, and a Facebook account)
  • Menzani, Tito and Vera Zamagni. “Co-operative Networks in the Italian Economy.” Enterprise and Society (2009).
    • Authors argue that the networks can be strengthened through the consolidation of Italian federations
    • Comparing networked enterprises to the conventional, classical theories of atomistic enterprises. The Japanese system challenges this logic, as do the Italian co-ops
    • The three main federations are Legacoop (socialist, founded 1886), Confcooperative (Catholic, founded 1919), and liberal (Agci in 1952, Unci in 1975, Unicoop in 2004). Co-ops faced nationalization and repression in fascist period, but art. 45 of the 1948 constitution enshrined the rights of cooperation
    • The 1971 and 1977 reforms eased co-ops' access to capital, especially by protecting indivisible reserves, which goes to the movement (not to members) if the co-op is dissolved. In 1983, they became able to own capitalist corporations. 1992 law allowed investor-members, as well as allowing contributions to federations' co-op development funds.
    • Legacoop and Confcooperative account for 90% of turnover nationally. In Emilia Romagna, 1/3 of the economy's turnover is in cooperatives. Several charts on the size and nature of Italian co-ops over time.
    • Distinguishes horizontal (consortia within sectors), vertical (across sectors, such as between supply and purchasing co-ops), complementary (consortia of different businesses that offer consolidated services), and financial (cooperative banks) networks.
    • The apex organizations are “networks of networks,” involved in a variety of functions including startup support, technical assistance, marketing, lobbying, ethical control.
    • Networks as “a space between market and hierarchy”
    • Competitive advantages of cooperative networking in adaptiveness, scale alongside local responsiveness, efficiency
  • Thomas, Antonio. “The Rise of Social Cooperatives in Italy.” Voluntas 15, no. 3 (September 2004).
    • Points to the shortcomings of both public and private firms in providing welfare services.
    • Categorizes social co-ops as third-sector social enterprises (247).
    • The social co-op legislation, Law 381/1991, which distinguishes “caring activities” (type A) and “training activities” (type B). And three sets of stakeholders: lenders/funders, beneficiaries/users, volunteers (249). Also provisions for such stakeholders as financing, legal, administrative, honorary, governmental, etc. membership classes (249).
    • Exponential growth (249-50). Non-government clients account for about 8% of the revenues of the sector (250).
    • 50% of SCs (at this writing) were converted from other kinds of co-ops; 15.9% started as another kind of secular or religious association (253)
    • Surveys financing mechanisms available to social co-ops (257-)