The Knowledge-based Agricultural Cooperative: A Validation from the Trentino Case

The new agri-food market is considered a detrimental factor for the competitiveness and financial equilibria of agricultural cooperatives. According to this view, as a result of market saturation and globalisation processes, shifting investments to supply chain forward activities (e.g., for brand development or for research and development activities) would represent a serious threat to the cooperative model. Taking a contrasting view, this paper aims at demonstrating that the cooperative model continues to play a strategic role in the current competitive environment. In particular,the adoption of the knowledge-based theory of the firm combined with the “open innovation” approach permits a renewed interpretation of the role of modern agricultural cooperatives as knowledge developers and disseminators, for the benefit of members and their communities. This theoretical approach will be tested by studying a sample of agricultural cooperatives operating in the province of Trento, in North-East Italy.

Download PDF
Eddi Fontanari, Silvia Sacchetti (2019). The Knowledge-based Agricultural Cooperative: A Validation from the Trentino Case, Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, 8(2): 46-70. DOI: http:/ / dx. doi.org/10.5947/jeod.2019.008