Co-operative principles, and values, as defined by the International Co-operative Alliance, have served as the guiding, as well as defining, tenets of co-operative founding and functioning. Co-operatives that have stayed true to these tenets have delivered immense value to their members, as well as their communities and customers.
In this paper, I tease out the relevance of these tenets to another kind of organization – the family business. I show that many of the co-operative principles and values are implicitly the foundation of family businesses as well.
Recognizing the relevance of value of co-operative principles and values helps in advancing research and practice in family businesses. In addition, the explicit recognition of a somewhat common founding basis between co-operatives and family business also helps in furthering research and practice in the co-operative sector.