Helpful Guides and Resources

This section provides relevant miscellaneous information concerning on-line archives, blogs, list serves and newsletters related to cooperative development.  Additionally you will find useful citations and links to printed material, including periodicals, books, and manuals.

2012 was the International Year of the Cooperatives.
For more information see:, and  

On-line Archives
You will find great on-line resource libraries dedicated to cooperatives at the sites below.

Indiana Cooperative Development Center is located in Indianapolis, IN and serves the state of Indiana providing cost-effective services to cooperatives and other organizations in the third sector.  Specifically, they specialize in strategic planning, marketing analysis, feasibility studies, business plans and staff training.

Center for Co-operatives & CED – Southern New Hampshire University is an academic program focusing on community building and development in order to change the plight of marginalized groups.  In addition to the scholarly program, they also offer free downloadable webinars on a variety of topics related to cooperatives; preservation, economic crisis and many others. 

The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives: A national grassroots membership organization of and for worker cooperatives.  It has a specific section dedicated to resources including: Worker Cooperative 101; Practical Tools and Models and Advanced Support.

Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC): An organization related to workplace democracy.   It has a resource library that contains publications, magazine/newspaper articles and videos related to workplace democracy. Additionally, there are organizational materials that outline bylaws and policies.

The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives: A Canadian interdisciplinary teaching and research institute.  They have a library collection that contains online journals and cooperative legislation. Their library deals with matters of community economic development, women in cooperatives, co-operative education, communal living and political studies and democracy.

Blogs, List Serves, and Newsletters


CooperationWorks! (CW): A national network of Cooperative Development Centers created to grow the cooperative model across the United States.

The Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP): A program operated in the Department of Applied Economics and Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University designed to aide existing cooperatives.

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO): Consists of a group of educators, researchers, and activists working to promote the third sector economy.  Their newsletter contains list of back issues/some articles from GEO newsletter (topics include cooperatives, worker cooperatives, local currency and time dollars, ESOPs, community supported agriculture, etc.) Also there are full text of some articles on cooperatives, urban agriculture, etc. available.


Co*Create 26
This blog posts comments on economic, sustainability, and ecological issues and how they connect to influence the world we live in.

Re.Rooting Looking Back While Moving Forward
Ed Merritt manages this blog that deals with alternative economic systems, complex adaptive systems, pluralism and resilience management.

Building the Third Way Economic Democracy for the New Millennium
On this blog you will find topics of worker-owned cooperatives, family-owned enterprises, economic councils, community-owned businesses, and support for third sector enterprises.

Breathing Lessons Musings on Cooperation in Society
Created in 2006 this live journal posts articles on current issues related to cooperatives by its designer “rochdale.”

Worker Coops and Unions Working Together
Designs on Democracy, located in Oakland, CA provides posts regarding wage, labor, unions, cooperatives and economic issues from the third sector and worker perspective.

Reports, Articles, and Manuals

USDA Rural Cooperatives Magazine Bi-monthly magazine geared toward farmers, rural utilities and cooperative finance systems.

C0-operation – the beautiful idea (Edgar Parnell). Edgar Parnell has written a booklet, available both in print and as an eBook, which addresses the many issues and obstacles involved in running co-operative and mutual enterprises (CMEs).  Not only does it address these issues, it provides answers as well as an agenda for change which ultimately can lead to a more effective and productive co-operative.  To find a copy of this booklet, click here.

The Design of Governance Systems for Small Worker Cooperatives (Janet Saglio and Richard Hackman). This paper discusses the governance of small worker cooperatives, presenting a model for ensuring that individual rights of members are protected and exercised.  $5.00 purchase available from the International Cooperative Alliance website icapublications.html

The Economics of Co-operation (Edgar Parnell). This article delineates the general framework that is established by a set of precepts rooted in the philosophy of co-operation, which should guide the motives and actions of co-operatives and mutuals.  To download the PDF, click here.

Co-Operative Entrepreneurship (Diarmuid McDonnell, Elizabeth Macknight and Hugh Donnelly). The Co-Operative Education Trust of Scotland developed this resource to provide an informative and practical to the nature and process of establishing a co-operative enterprise. Drawing on best practices and international guidelines, this text is suitable for students engaged in new venture creation projects, as well as graduates looking to develop their commercial idea. To download the PDF, click here.

The International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers’ Cooperatives, or CICOPA. CICOPA has been a sectoral organisation of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) since 1947. This text provides a qualitative analysis on the economic situation of CICOPA members resulting from the 2012 annual survey. To download the PDF, click here.

Boisseneault, Lorraine.  “Protecting Immigrant Rights By Making Them Owners.  This article talks about using (cooperatives) as a way to do economic development, community development, and as a way to build leadership among immigrant women. To download the PDF, click here.

Findlay, I. M. ; Popham, J. ; Ince, P. ; Takahashi, S.  2013. Through the Eyes of  Women: What a Co-operative Can Mean in Supporting Women During Confinement and Integration. Saskatoon, SK: Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan. This research study considers criminalized women’s lived experiences while in custody and upon release. The study pays particular attention to women’s perceptions of institutional programming with the purpose of outlining service and other gaps and clarifying how co-operative initiatives might fill these gaps. It explores how participation in a co-operative can impact the capacity of provincially sentenced women to negotiate incarceration and successfully reintegrate into the community upon release from custody. The study provides women the opportunity to voice their needs and hopes, their stories and experience of imprisonment, and their capacity for social, economic, cultural, and civic integration. It explores how living under conditions of confinement may structure women’s choices, their social, cultural, and civic identities, and shape their mental well-being and their capacity to manage their lives upon release — and what participating in a co-operative might mean for their capacities and choices. To download the PDF, click here.


Cooperative Enterprise: Facing the Challenge of Globalization ( Zamagni and Zamagni). This book captures how cooperatives serve their members effectively, strengthen the cooperative movement and the underlying principles governing the operations of cooperatives.  To find a copy of this book click here.

Co-operatives in a Global Economy (Reed and McMurtry). In this book, Reed and McMurtry display the globalization and cooperative development challenges and alternatives exsiting in the past and for the future of this sector.  To find a copy of this book click here.

Cooperation Works (E.G. Nadeau and David Thompson). These specific chapters 3 and 4, display the work of cooperatives across the country, their stories, successes and struggles.  These authors demonstrate the magnitude of cooperatives across the United States.  To find a copy of this book click here.

Gonzales, Vanna and Rhonda Phillips, eds.  2013. Cooperatives and Community Development.  Boca Raton, FL: Routledge. This collection of articles provides new developments in the ways in which cooperatives are used in a diverse array of community contexts. They offer insight as to what these changes mean, both empirically and theoretically, for community development in the decades to come. To find a copy of this book click here!

Helping Ourselves (Briscoe and Ward). Briscoe and Ward, in their writing on cooperatives, capitalize on the innovative ways that cooperatives create work-place environments, pursue and efficiently work with volunteers and how these concepts can be used as future structures within the greater economic structure. To find a copy of this book click here.

Making Mondragon: The Growth and Dynamics of The Worker Cooperative Complex. (William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte). Description of the organizational development and status of the Mondragon cooperatives in the early 1990s. To find a copy of this book click here.

Putting Democracy to Work: A practical guide for starting worker-owned businesses (Second Edition Frank T. Adams and Gary B. Hansen.) Adams and Hansen discuss the start-up and management of worker-owned business through the topics of legal requirements, methods of financing worker buyouts, management patterns, and the efforts necessary to educate all those who will be participating.  In the book you can find examples of business plans, structures, by-laws, marketing strategies and many useful items in designing a worker-owned business. To find a copy of this book click here.

The Company We Keep: Reinventing Small Business for People, Community and Place (John Abrams). The Company We Keep is an inspiring account of the formation and evolution of South Mountain Company, a worker-owned construction company.  The book explores how business can be used as a force for social change in a community and is a must read for anyone interested in worker cooperatives and socially responsible business practices. To find a copy of this book click here.

The Cooperative Movement: Globalization from Below (Richard Williams). In this book, Williams attempts to provide the foundation for corporate social responsibility including: business ethics, corporate governance and accountability. To find a copy of this book click here.

The Cooperative Movement in the 21st Century (John Curl). This piece outlines a history of the cooperative movement as well as its ties to the labor movement.  It also includes aspects of worker rights, democratic principles and member-controlled organizations. Curl The Cooperative Movement in the 21st Century

We Build The Road As We Travel (Roy Morrison). The story of the Mondragon cooperatives and how more than 21,000 workers have taken control of their communities and lives. To find a copy of this book click here.

Workers Cooperatives in America (Henry M. Levin and Robert Jackall). – Provides an historical perspective of American cooperatives.  It specifically outlines: American producer cooperatives, employee-owned firms, the contemporary small cooperative movement and employment and productivity of producer cooperatives. To find a copy of this book click here.

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