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Title: The Maltese cooperative movement : a historical outline
Other Titles: Cooperative ways of working : towards a Mediterranean research project
Authors: Rizzo, Saviour
Keywords: Cooperative societies -- Malta
Organizational effectiveness
Economic development -- Malta
Producer cooperatives -- Malta
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: Workers' Participation Development Centre
Citation: Rizzo, S. (1994). The Maltese cooperative movement: a historical outline. In G. Baldacchino, S. Rizzo, & E.L. Zammit (Eds.), Cooperative ways of working : towards a Mediterranean research project (pp. 115-125). Msida: Workers' Participation Development Centre.
Abstract: The hi story of cooperatives is generally replete with references to the role played by support agencies in the promotion and development of the cooperative movement. The promotional exercise is very often directed at raising the consciousness level of the public about the principles of cooperativism, enhancing the image and viability of existing cooperatives and creating an urge to find gaps in the market where new cooperative ventures could be launched. The support consists in designing educational programmes, trying to procure financial and economic backing for cooperatives and providing managerial, audit, accounting and other consultative service. Political parties, trade unions, the Church and other social movements very often assume this catalytic role. To illustrate this point one may refer to the very effective strategies adopted by the Italian politial parties and trade unions in building a strong cooperative movement in Italy, the charisma of the Catholic priest who pioneered the cooperatives in Mondragon, Spain and the Quaker beliefs of Ernest Bader that inspired him to found the Scott Bader Foundation in Britain. The Maltese case study does not offer any such prototypes even though it is characterized by the emergence of social movements with their potential to mobilize people. The disposition of these movements to support the cause of cooperativism has been more conspicuous in words rather than deeds. The Social Action Movement - a body with close affinities with the Church and which was pioneered by a Catholic diocesan priest - initiated some ventures in this field. Nevertheless the Church with its powerful cultural position making it a special agent of moulding and reproducing specific values failed to formulate an action plan to promote cooperatives (Baldacchino 1990, p.105). Neither have the other social movements (trade unions, political parties) shown any serious commitment towards this ideal. The hi story of Maltese cooperatives therefore reveals a serious lack of infrastructure for a cooperative mode! and it was actually the state through legislation that has played the major role in the promotion and development of cooperatives.
Appears in Collections:Cooperative ways of working : towards a Mediterranean research project

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