In the European Union and in large regions of America, cooperatives, with associations, foundations and mutual funds are considered parts of the social economy. The International Cooperative Alliance, established in 1895, is considered to be the final authority for defining cooperatives and the principles by which they operate. The organization has made three formal statements of cooperative principles over the past 100 years in an effort to keep them relevant to the contemporary world. At its 100th anniversary meeting in September, 1995 in Manchester, England, the Alliance adopted the "Statement of Cooperative Identity." which made the definition, values and principles of cooperatives.
Definition: cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Values are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
Principles: Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, Member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training and Information, Cooperation among Cooperatives, Concern for Community (Statement of Cooperative Identity 1995)
2. A critical analysis of the organisation's internal structure
Like any organization, cooperative has own structure, which may various from number of its members and the area of activity the co-op involved. There are tree main components of internal structure of cooperation: the Board, Management and Members. The rights, duties and coordination of work of governing team are reflected in scheme, which where adopted from the work of Garoyan and Mohn (1976 cited Cooperatives 2006):
AREAS OF CONCERN
Idea Decision , Judge Ends/Purpose
Action Decisions, Manage Means/Activities
COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES
Set limits, Monitor
Intermediate and Short-Range Organize and Control Resources
Set Policies Regarding Results to be Achieved and Limitations on Activities
Monitor Progress Toward Results
Monitor Compliance with Limits
Provide Information for Monitoring
Determine Values and Goals
Assurance of Capable Management and Board Succession
Determine Structure, Behavior, Performance Evaluation, Calendar and Agenda
Board of directors by law is legally responsible for cooperative and it's critical that all directors are highly qualified. Furthermore, directors of board need to represent the cooperative membership as a whole. (Cropp 2005)
3. A critical analysis of the organisation's objectives and/or strategy plans
Jeffrey Royer (2002, p.12) from University of Nebraska noted that "because cooperatives are complex definition organization, that served to wide variety of purposes, and perform the wide variety of functions, there is no single objective, , that is accepted by board, management and members. A cooperative may pursue the number of objectives