Materials relating to the Co-op Index for Worker Co-operatives project, including a discussion of the tool’s reliability for co-operative development.
Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network
ABSTRACT from paper in Journal of Co-operative Accounting and Reporting, Stocki & Hough. 335 members and employees from five Canadian and three US co-ops answered a 174 statement questionnaire - The Co-op Index - to express their perception of their co-operatives. The tool was developed in response to the need for a method of evaluating how such values - based organizations as worker co-operatives abide by their values and principles. It was meant to give an early warning to the board of any tendency of the co-operative to move towards a stage of organizational decline. The Co-op Index also provides guidance to the co-operative by highlighting the areas requiring attention if the co-op is to be improved or renewed. The statistical analysis of the results distinguished two groups of questions. 58 questions related to Co-operative Values and Principles and 116 questions related to management practices. This paper presents the results of an exploratory Principal Components Analysis of the 58 questions. The analysis yielded 12 components which seem to be a very good reflection of the essence of the ICA set of Co-operative Values. The main component, Human Dignity, explained 61.86% of the variance. Thus the analysis revealed a hidden aspect of the nature of co-operatives, their focus on human dignity. We found that the eight co-ops differed significantly in their results. This means that the Co-op Index is a reliable tool for measuring the value of co-operative identity. As such it can be an indispensable tool not only for co-ops but for other organizations which seek to abide by humanistic values. The analysis carried out in other types of organizations should be conducted with tools based on the analysed tool but appropriately adapted for use in the different organizational contexts. The development of such a family of tools is an urgent need if co-operatives and the like organizations are to replace profit driven corporations.
This entry contains various materials related to the Co-op Index project, which focused on the development and testing of the Co-op Index Diagonstic Tool for Worker Co-operatives. The Co-op Index is a values-based assessment tool designed specifically for worker co-operatives. The Co-op Index measures a co-operative’s organizational effectiveness based on the following: - The degree to which its members/employees feel involved and empowered in the management of the organization; - The degree to which the co-op adheres to universally recognized co-op principles and values; - The degree to which the co-op adheres to its own mission and values. The overview document describes the Co-op Index tool in some detail, and provides a number of sample questions as well as extracts from a sample diagnostic report and descriptions of the various indices. The slide presentation is from CASC 2015 and the presentation abstract is as follows: The Co-op Index was meant to be a handy diagnostic tool for the organizational development of worker co-ops. Although many papers and book chapters have described its functions and diagnostic model (Stocki, Prokopowicz, Novkovic, 2012; Novkovic, Prokopowicz, Stocki, 2012; Hough & Novkovic, 2012; Stocki, & Łapot, 2014), no empirical data collected from co-ops using the tool has yet been presented. This is the first presentation of all empirical data gathered so far from Canadian and American co-operatives who have used the tool. First, we plan to present psychometric features of the tool, including correlations between questions and scales, as well as reliability of all 30 subscales of the questionnaire. Second, we will present the first mean characteristics of the co-operatives diagnosed so far, which may serve as benchmarks for future users of the tool. We will conclude the presentation with a list of changes in the tool which will allow for the development of a leaner and more reliable 2.0 version. The smu.ca link leads to a journal article published in the Journal of Co-operative Accounting and Reporting that follows up on the CASC presentation above, by discussing some detail the preliminary analysis of results. Abstract of the paper has been included in this record. The video (youtube) link leads to a webinar entitled "Tools to Measure your Co-op's Forward Motion". The first presenter, starting at 00:01:20, is Eric Tusz-King, who reflects on his co-operative's experience using the Co-op Index tool (EnerGreen Worker Co-op).