Futures North Conference, 7th Sept.

Setting an Educational Agenda for Cooperatives
Dr Rory Ridley-Duff (r.ridley-duff@shu.ac.uk) is course leader for the Cooperative and Social Enterprise Summer School at Sheffield Business School (SBS). He worked in a London-based worker cooperative for 12 years, and was a founding subscriber of Social Enterprise London in 1998. His PhD was based on a study of a Sheffield-based firm converting to employee ownership. Rory is now course leader for SBS's first postgraduate programme aimed at members of cooperatives and employee-owned businesses (MSc Social Enterprise and Business Democracy). The programme is supported by the publication of his new textbook Understanding Social Enterprise (co-authored with Mike Bull, at Manchester Metropolitan University).

Key Questions
• How can cooperatives and employee-owned businesses achieve recognition in management and business education? • What principles should underpin curriculum choices? • To what extent should employee-owned and cooperative enterprises be a part of a social enterprise curriculum?

Finding a place for cooperatives...
• In 2007, a plenary speaker (the CEO of a Scottish CDA) at the International Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research conference claimed that cooperatives were private sector businesses.
In 2008, the Office of the Third Sector defined cooperatives as part of the third sector.

In 2010, the Big Society agenda wants cooperatives to take over (or become part of) public sector delivery.

• Educational problem or opportunity?

On your own, think of three groundbreaking organisations (from each sector) :
First System (Private Sector)
Second System (Public Sector) Third System (Social Sector)

See Chapter 2 in: Pearce J. (2003), Social Enterprise in Anytown, London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

If an organisation…
- competes successfully in the "first system" (private)… - is more democratic accountability than the "second system" (public)… - and operates with the ethical values of the "third system" (social)…

…then what is it?

Creating opportunities for debate...
The word “private” is used in two senses: (1) “private” in the sense of being non-governmental, and (2) “private” in the sense of being based on private property. Let us drop the first meaning and retain the second. Similarly “public” is used in two senses: (1) “public” in the sense of being governmental, and (2) “public” in the sense of being based on personal rights. Let us use the second meaning and take it as the definition of “social” (instead of “public”). Thus we have the suggested redefinitions: Social institution = based on personal rights. Private organization = based on property rights. By these redefinitions, a democratic firm is a social institution (while still being “private” in the other sense of being not of the government), while a capitalist corporation is a private firm (not because it is also non-governmental but because it is based on property rights).
Ellerman, D. (1997) The Democratic Corporation, Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House. p. 38

Creating opportunities for debate...
Memorandum of Association – Social Enterprise London – 26th January 1998. C. Objects (1) The objects of the company are: (i) To promote the principles and values of the social enterprise economy in Greater London and its environs. (ii) To promote co-operative solutions for economic and community development. (iii) To promote social enterprises, in particular co-operatives and common ownerships, social firms, and other organisations and businesses which put into practice the principles of participatory democracy, equal opportunities and social justice. (iv) To promote, develop and support local and regional economic resources and opportunities. (v) To address social exclusion through economic regeneration. (vi) To create a regional framework to support and resource development of the social enterprise sector.
Source: Companies House

The Social Economy
• Bottom up, democratically controlled, trading?
“[comprised of]…private, formally organized enterprises, with autonomy of decision and freedom of membership, created to meet their members‟ needs through the market by producing goods and services, insurance and finance, where decision-making and any distribution of profits or surpluses among the members are not directly linked to the capital or fees contributed by each member, each of whom has one vote. The Social Economy also includes private, formally organized organisations with autonomy of decision-making and freedom of membership that produce non-market services for households and whose surplus, if any, cannot be appropriated by the economic agents that create, control or finance them.”
Monzon, J. L. and Chaves, R. (2008) “The European Social Economy: Concept and Dimensions of the Third Sector”, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 79(3/4), p. 557.

• •

More than a 'sector' filled with a particular type of organisation? Built on a different philosophy of organisation and economics?

Strategies at Sheffield Business School
• 1 - identify opportunities to introduce new lectures and teaching materials. • 2 - start to identify new modules that can be introduced into existing programmes. • 3 - identify opportunities to develop / promote new postgraduate courses

• 4 - identify opportunities to develop / promote undergraduate and open access courses.

Ideas for diversifying curricula
• Using case studies of cooperatives to illustrate "radical" perspectives in employee relations (i.e. that worker controlled enterprises do not 'fit' neatly into existing debates about employers and employees). Using case studies of football supporter trusts and mutuals to provoke discussion about the best relationship between owners, managers and customers. Using definitional debates about private and social (cooperative) enterprise to illustrate the power of 'discourses', 'paradigms' and 'paradigm shifts' to blind us to alternative ways of thinking.

Using seminar exercises that ask students to resolve specific organisational problems, but framing the problem in different organisational settings (a private, cooperative and charitable company). •

Compare the way they make their decisions.
Explore how cooperative working alters 'interests'.

Building an open access short course
Cooperative and Social Enterprise Summer School
• Day 1
• • • • Third sector, civil society and the social economy. Developing a contemporary critique of private corporations. Understanding „battle lines‟ in the definition of social enterprise. Challenges in social enterprise governance (making explicit how democracy can be enacted in management practice).

• Day 2

Model rules for cooperative social enterprises (and selecting legal forms to support cooperation).

• Day 3 (2011 onwards)
• Open Space 'research day' to promote conversations between practitioners and researchers.

Building an M-Level course
• MSc Social Enterprise and Business Democracy (Sheffield Business School)
• In which programme? In which faculty?

• Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
• Developing strategies for change

• •

Coaching, mentoring and leadership
The context for social enterprise development Democratic management, ownership and governance

Building an M-Level course
• Postgraduate Diploma (60 credits)
• • • Third sector / social economy human resource management Consultancy theory and process Research methodology

Charity trading and social enterprise

• Masters Award (60 credits)
• Dissertation: examine any aspect of the relationship between social enterprise and business democracy.

Supporting study with a new book
• Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice (Sage Publications)
• Part 1: Theory
1. Third Sector and the Social Economy

2. New Public Management and the Private Sector
3. Defining Social Enterprise

4. Social and Ethical Capital
5. Globalisation and International Perspectives

Aimed at inter-disciplinary audience in multiple subjects.

Supporting study with a new book
Part 2: Practice
6. Management Debates Identifying the 7. Identities and Legalities purpose(s) of management activity 8. Strategic Management (Chapter 6) and Planning 9. Governance, HRM and Employee Relations Expanding the 10. Leadership and organisation through Social Entrepreneurship investment and contracting activities 11. Income Streams (Chapter 11) and Social Investment 12. Measuring Social Outcomes and Impacts
Establishing an identity and legal form for operations (Chapter 7) Deciding how to develop and operationalise practice (Chapter 8)

Assessing and managing outcomes and impacts (Chapter 12)

Formalising and informalising leadership and entrepreneurial processes (Chapter 10)

Selecting, inducting and managing members / employees (Chapter 9)

Designed for business, management and enterprise degree programmes.

Key Arguments
• There are creative ways to integrate cooperative thought / debates into FE/HE curricula.
• Revisiting the theoretical foundations of a 'social institution' helps to ground curriculum choices. • The rise of social enterprise as a topic provides new opportunities to develop courses that include cooperative studies. • Creating course / book content that compares the impact of decision-making in different forms of enterprise is a good way to highlight their characteristics and impact.

Workshop Questions (for starters..)
• Where are the best opportunities to embed lectures, modules and courses on cooperatives, employee-owned businesses and other social enterprises?

• Is there anyone here interested in developing the case for A-Level cooperative and social enterprise studies?

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