We have 6 guests and no members online
This is a study of communications and co-operatives undertaken by Ipsos Marketing and UQAM.
A qualitative research methodology was undertaken and ten focus groups were organized across five cities - Quebec, Manchester, Paris, Buenos Aires and Tokyo. Overall, 81 individuals took part between the ages of 25 and 64 years with 50% men and 50% women. All participants were able to name at least one co-operative in their city. Participants included members and non-members of co-operatives.
The most consistent perception across all market was that cooperatives exist for a higher purpose than simply maximizing profits. As a result, it is very difficult for people to conceptualize or even to believe, that a company can stand for democracy, community involvement, and sharing of profits, and yet still manage to become a multi-‐billion dollar organiza8on with thousands of members.
From the non-‐members’ point of view, if a coopera8ve has achieved this level of success, it must have sacrificed its supposed principles in the pursuit of profit. In other words, an organizaon cannot do “the right thing” and still have enough money ever to become as successful as those who only focused on profits from the beginning. This too-‐good-‐to-‐be-‐true perception affects the level of credibility that large, profitable cooperatives have, and opens them up to skepticism and criticism about no longer being “true” cooperatives.
Compounding this perception is the fact that many participants feel as though they do not
hear about cooperatives (either in the media or in their social circles), which they assume they would do if
the cooperatives were in fact making all of these improvements in communies. As such, to not hear about
cooperatives’ community initiatives leads many to assume that there are none. While regular corporaons
unapologetically exist to maximize profits, cooperatives have set a higher expectation, and as such, their
community involvement needs to be communicated very strongly.
Ipsos Marketing and UQAM The Co-operative Movement A global research study on perceptions towards co-operatives, 2012