Rediscovering the Cooperative Enterprise: A Systematic Review of Current Topics and Avenues for Future Research

Andres Felipe Camargo Benavides*, Michel Ehrenhard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


For decades, the cooperative enterprise (CE) produces market goods and/or provides services in the interest to its members, such as communities, customers, and suppliers. The upsurge of interest in social enterprises, and their balancing of social and economic interests, has also led to a renewed interest in CEs, often seen as a specific type of social enterprise. However, from an organizational perspective, this renewed interest has been both limited and scattered over a variety of fields. In this paper, we systematically review papers on CE in the mainstream organizational literature, defined as literature in the fields of economics, business, management and sociology. Our review integrates and synthesizes the current topics in the mainstream organizational literature and provides a number of avenues for future research. In addition, we compare our findings in the organizational literature to the social issues literature as these appeared to be quite complimentary. We found multilevel studies, determination of social impact—in particular measurable impact, managerial practices for sustainable (organisational) development, and the entrepreneurial opportunity generation process as the four key avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-978
Number of pages15
Early online date8 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Cooperative enterprise
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Organizational forms
  • Organizational structure
  • Social enterprise
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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