This is a course run through the University of Newcastle.
This introductory course provides students with a theoretical and practical framework for understanding the origins, principles and values, and the strengths and weaknesses of the co-operative business model. It seeks to explain how this business model is positioned in relation to the market, social and sharing economies. It explores different types of co-operatives based on different models of ownership and considers how and why these types have emerged and continue to evolve to provide solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental problems in Australia and internationally. The course will examine contemporary challenges with co-operative law, capital-raising, governance and management and seeks to identify barriers to co-operative growth and development. This is an introductory course, and a more detailed study of many of these areas will be offered in the courses: LEGL6005 Legal Frameworks and Governance and GSBS6412 Social Enterprises and Co-operative Innovation.
The topics in this course include the following:
- Introduction – what makes the co-operatives and mutuals different from other business models
- Understanding co-operative identity, values and principles.
- Typology of co-operatives
- The history, resilience and re-emergence of the co-operative model internationally
- Understanding past and current features impacting the Australian co-operative sector
- Theories explaining the resilience and advantages of the co-operative model
- New trends: co-operatives in public and community service delivery
- Co-operative innovation, technological, organisational and contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Co-operative law and legal frameworks
- Co-operative management and member’s economic participation
- Co-operative governance and democratic decision-making
- Co-operative finance and capital raising