Consumers' Cooperatives Directors and Managers: Sociological Profile
Escola Superior de Gestão Instituto Politecnico de Santarém Santarem, Portugal
Based on the fact that, due to its nature and mission, any attempt to resist to consumerism in modern societies should have Consumers' Cooperatives that still exist as main actors, even if Co-ops have faced difficulties to adapt to the emergence of consumerist culture, have lost their reason to live or have actually a weak associative life. This research draws the sociological profile of Portuguese Consumers' Cooperatives managers.
We tried understand directors and managers' main socio-ideological characteristics, analyze the way they see their organizations' mission, measure their level of social involvement, their motivation, commitment and associative pledge, their loyalty to cooperative principles, their insertion in social networks, their degree of trust (both in the associative movement and among their peers), and the trust they have on different levels of global society.
Through this analysis, we tried to evaluate if consumers' cooperatives play (or not) a facilitating role for supported communitarian development, in nowadays Portuguese society, through the creation and diffusion of social capital and if, consequently, they are an alternative or a point of resistance to hegemonical consumerist culture, in modern societies.