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In a cooperative, all of us are responsible for everything.
J. M. Arizmendiarieta. Reflections. p.63

Summary


Co-operative isomorphism project is about why co-ops become similar to ordinary investor-owned companies. In our co-ops, we thoughtlessly imitate investor-owned companies. Unfortunately, it also refers to the diagnosis and audit of co-operatives. Why, because it places “the co-operative organization” in the centre, while co-operatives are created to serve people. The person and not the institution should be first. To diagnose a co-operative, we should  ask individuals how their co-operative serves them and report to them, individually, what they can do to enhance the co-operative’s service role to them. 

In the process of discovering the roots of isomorphism, I started to look for new diagnostic tools. First, I tried to observe what efficient co-operativists have in common. They differ in political views, religions, goals, declared values. However, they have common lifestyle. It consists of  personal maturity, skill in teamwork, strategic business awareness in the contemporary world, and top professionalism in what they specialize in, be it accounting, software engineering or nursing. 

 

This research is conducted as a part of a three-year-long fellowship first at the Saint Mary’s University and then at the University of Mondragon. My goal is to develop CoopIndex 2.0, a diagnostic tool which will help to create synergy between individual goals of co-op members and their co-operative’s fortitude. A co-operative is a common good, and it may be managed as other commons to serve its members for many years in accordance with Co-operative Values and Principles. I hope the new tool will help every co-op member to become what she or he wants to be and in this may strengthen the co-op that helps them to achieve it.