Research Handbook on Sustainable Co-operative Enterprise
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Research Handbook on Sustainable Co-operative Enterprise

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

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.
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Chapter 2: A conceptual framework for research into co-operative enterprise

Tim Mazzarol, Richard Simmons and Elena Mamouni Limnios


This chapter outlines a conceptual framework for understanding the business model of the co-operative enterprise. Business model analysis has become popular within management circles. The concept of a 'business model' first emerged in the 1950s (Bellman, Clark et al. 1957). However, it really came to prominence within the academic literature in the 1990s (Osterwalder et al. 2005). A business model may be defined as follows: A business model is a conceptual tool containing a set of objects, concepts and their relationships with the objective to express the business logic of a specific firm. It is a description of the value a company offers to one or several segments of customers and of the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing, and delivering this value and relationship capital, to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams. (Osterwalder et al. 2005, p. 3) The business model of an organisation is more generic than the financial or strategic design that is part of its structural configuration. It seeks to generate a mechanism that can deliver value to a target customer or market segment in a sustainable manner allocating resources to achieve this outcome. Despite its common usage the concept of the business model has no established theoretical grounding in economics or business studies (Teece 2010).

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