The Cooperative as a Platform for Sustainable Business Operations

Forthcoming in Beate Sjåfjell and Christopher M. Bruner (eds), Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, Cambridge University Press

University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019-56

Posted: 8 May 2019 Last revised: 24 May 2019

See all articles by Ville Pönkä

Ville Pönkä

University of Helsinki - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 10, 2019

Abstract

The modern corporation is often praised as the ultimate form of association. The purpose of this Chapter is to challenge this claim by demonstrating the possibilities of the cooperative business model. In other words the aim is to examine how cooperatives differ from corporations, especially in terms of sustainability, to what extent cooperatives, in theory and practice, facilitate sustainability, and how cooperative law should be developed to ensure that person-oriented cooperative societies do not transform into capital-centered cooperative corporations. The findings of this Chapter show that cooperatives are, in several ways, better alternatives for sustainable business operations than corporations. Concern for community is an organic part of the cooperative business model, whereas altruistic measures in the corporate context are often artificial and motivated by investor interests. However, the question yet remains whether cooperatives facilitate sustainability enough or whether they put too much emphasis on their members’ interests.

Keywords: cocooperative, cooperative law, sustainable development, cooperative governance

JEL Classification: K22

Suggested Citation

Pönkä, Ville, The Cooperative as a Platform for Sustainable Business Operations (April 10, 2019). Forthcoming in Beate Sjåfjell and Christopher M. Bruner (eds), Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, Cambridge University Press; University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019-56. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3369616

Ville Pönkä (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki - Faculty of Law ( email )

Porthania 5th Floor
P.O. Box 4
Helsinki, FIN-0001 4
Finland
+358445473500 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
108
PlumX Metrics