The Knowledge-based Agricultural Cooperative: A Validation from the Trentino Case
25 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020
Date Written: February 28, 2020
The new agri-food market is considered a detrimental factor for the competitiveness and financial equilibria of agricultural cooperatives. According to this view, as a result of market saturation and globalisation processes, shifting investments to supply chain forward activities (e.g., for brand development or for research and development activities) would represent a serious threat to the cooperative model. Taking a contrasting view, this paper aims at demonstrating that the cooperative model continues to play a strategic role in the current competitive environment. In particular, the adoption of the knowledge-based theory of the firm combined with the “open innovation” approach permits a renewed interpretation of the role of modern agricultural cooperatives as knowledge developers and disseminators, for the benefit of members and their communities. This theoretical approach will be tested by studying a sample of agricultural cooperatives operating in the province of Trento, in North-East Italy.
Keywords: Agricultural Cooperatives, Agri-food Sector, Innovation, Knowledge Creation and Transfer
JEL Classification: Q13, O31, O35, L23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation