Are We Owners or Regular Customers? The Obscure Meaning of Ownership in Consumer Co-operatives

  •  Iiro Jussila    
  •  Pasi Tuominen    
  •  Terhi Tuominen    


It is argued in literature on consumer co-operation that a distinctive feature of consumer co-operatives is the dual role of customers as owners and the associated strong linkage between customer-owners and their co-operative organization. However, some findings suggest that co-operative ownership is obscure, which might interfere with the development of the special bond between the customers and the organization they own. Thereby, there is need to investigate this issue further. This qualitative study focuses on analyzing customer-owners’ accounts of their role and particularly the meanings associated with ownership. This serves setting forth ideas useful for both future research and practice.

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