Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Sustainable Co-operative Enterprise

Research Handbook on Sustainable Co-operative Enterprise

Case Studies of Organisational Resilience in the Co-operative Business Model

Elgar original reference

Edited by Tim Mazzarol, Sophie Reboud, Elena Mamouni Limnios and Delwyn Clark

Co-operatives are found in all industry sectors and almost all countries around the world. However, despite their significant economic and social contributions, the academic literature has largely ignored these important businesses. This book is a detailed examination of the co-operative enterprise business model and the factors that help to enhance its sustainability and resilience, as well as those forces that lead to its destruction.

Chapter 21: The Italian co-operative banking and financial system: institutions, performances and theoretical background

Marco Mazzoli and Gabriele Quadrelli

Subjects: business and management, strategic management


For a large part of the last century, a peculiarity of the Italian co-operative movement has been its ideological fragmentation. Only in December 2010 did the three main associations of co-operatives ("Legacoop", with a left-wing orientation and, until the 1970s, even with some Marxist influence, "Confco-operative", with a Catholic background, and "AGCI", culturally close to the Republican movement, very active in the 19th century process of Italian unification) create a unique coordinating body, a first step toward a merger. The first co-operative bank was founded in 1883 by Leone Wollenborg, at Loreggia, near Padua. In 1897 there were more than 900 credit co-operatives (originally called "Casse Rurali e Artigiane") and 775 of them had a Catholic orientation. Their number was bound to decrease in the following decades because of mergers and economic crises. Over the last century, the Catholic co-operators have promoted two different types of co-operative banks: mutual loan societies (in Italian, "Banche Popolari", henceforth BP) and credit co-operative banks (in Italian Banche di Credito Cooperativo, henceforth BCC), while the left-wing co-operators of Legacoop have mainly been operating in the insurance and financial sector, by the acquisition (in the 1960s) of the insurance company Unipol, a corporation previously owned by a private entrepreneur.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information