Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance

Committee Chair(s)

E. B. Murray


E. B. Murray


R. P. Collier


V. L. Israelsen


N. S. Cannon


G. A. Meyer


The idea of cooperation is not new to man. It is as old as man himself. Cooperatives are an almost universal form of organization today found in practically all countries and used by people in many ways. The cooperatives are formed to secure low cost credit, to purchase supplies and equipment for farming and household needs, to market products, even to secure many services, like electric power, irrigation, health, and insurance. Cooperatives can be used in many ways to benefit people in the everyday needs of life.

The meaning of cooperation is that isolated and powerless individuals can, by combining with one another, achieve advantages available to the rich and the powerful so that they may advance not only materially but also morally. In other words a cooperative is a business organization that is owned by those who use its services, the control of which rests equally with all the members. It is voluntary and democratic and the moral element is as important as the material one. Furthermore, it recognizes social, educational, and community values.

It is easier to understand the concept of the cooperative by knowing its specific objectives. They can be summed as follows:

1) They aim to provide goods and services.

2) They aim to eliminate the unnecessary profits of middlemen in trade and commerce.

3) They seek to prevent the exploitation of the weaker members of society.

4) They aim to protect the rights of people both as producers and consumers.

5) They promote mutual understanding and education among their members and people in general.

Mr. W. P. Watkins of International Cooperative Alliance defines cooperation as: "A system of social organization based on the principles of unity, economy, democracy, equity, and liberty." 1



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