Borda-Rodriguez, Alexander and Vicari, Sara (2016). Resilience. In: Bernardi, Andrea and Monni, Salvatore eds. The Co-operative Firm Keywords. Rome: RomaTrE-Press, pp. 129–138.




It is argued that cooperative enterprises displayed a degree of resilience during the most recent economic crises. There are many examples where cooperatives from different sectors have proven to be more resilient than conventional companies. Anchored in local communities and guided by their core values and principles, cooperatives have continued to provide livelihoods for communities around the world (Roelants, 2013).

Despite challenges and limitations, co-operatives around the world are gradually growing in number and serving individuals and communities in need of basic services (Francesconi and Ruben, 2008; Francesconi and Wouterse, 2011). Some co-operatives perform better than others and those that do could provide key insights for co-operative resilience. They can also shed light on what might be needed to develop a resilient organizational structure.

It must be noted that the co-operative literature has largely focused on co-operatives in developed countries. In this discussion of resilience, we draw on a systematic review of literature on both developed and developing countries (Borda-Rodriguez and Vicari, 2013) The factors found to be conducive to co-operative resilience were the basis of subsequent research carried out in Malawi.

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