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Research article2014Peer reviewedOpen access

Farmers' reactions to the internationalisation of cooperatives

Ollila, Petri; Nilsson, Jerker; Hess, Sebastian


This study examined the extent to which farmer cooperatives enjoy social capital within their memberships as they become internationalised. The empirical basis was a survey of farmers in Finland. Findings from limited dependent variable regression models suggest that the farmers who are most loyal to their cooperatives tend to oppose its foreign investments. Another group of farmers tended to switch membership status between different cooperatives, and a third group tended to opt out of cooperatives. The two latter categories were characterised by a lower level of social capital, and both of them welcomed the cooperatives' international operations. This finding was more significant for individual farm types than the social capital-linked opposition to internationalisation. A general conclusion is that the internationalisation of cooperatives seems to affect the members' trust in the cooperative differently. Thus there is increasing heterogeneity within the memberships which may give rise to governance problems.


Agricultural cooperative; internationalisation; social capital; Multi-Nominal Logit model; Finland

Published in

Agricultural and Food Science
2014, Volume: 23, number: 4, pages: 291-306

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        Business Administration

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