Original Research

The co-operative model as a means of stakeholder management: An exploratory qualitative analysis

Darrell Hammond, John Luiz
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 19, No 4 | a1537 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v19i4.1537 | © 2016 Darrell Hammond, John Luiz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 January 2016 | Published: 25 November 2016

About the author(s)

Darrell Hammond, University of Cape Town
John Luiz, University of Sussex, and University of Cape Town, South Africa

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The South African economy has for some time been characterised by high unemployment, income inequality and a skills mismatch, all of which have contributed to conflict between business, government and labour. The co-operative model of stakeholder management is examined as a possible mitigating organisational form in this high-conflict environment. International experience indicates some success with co-operative models but they are not easy to implement effectively and face severe obstacles. Trust and knowledge sharing are critical for enabling a co-operative model of stakeholder management, which requires strong governance and adherence to strict rules. The model must balance the tension between optimisation of governance structures and responsiveness to members' needs. Furthermore, support from social and political institutions is necessary. We find barriers to scalability which manifest in the lack of depth of business skills, negative perception of the co-operative model by external stakeholders, government ambivalence, and a lack of willingness on the part of workers to co-operate for mutual benefit.


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