Peter_Davis_2017_ECMLG_Paper_ED_Ref.pdf (249.31 kB)
Ethical agency contracts as a basis for co-operative management and leadership
conference contributionposted on 2018-06-14, 14:08 authored by Peter Davis
The paper argues for the concept of an ethical agency contract as a basis for leadership and management engagement and development in the co-operative context. The paper agrees with Sigismundo B. Neto (2012) that agency problems are complex given the governance structures of co-operatives. Neto does acknowledge the possibility of an ‘ethical agency’ and the paper develops this idea as a possible solution to the mounting record of commercial failure, demutualization and general inertia found in the contemporary co-operative sector. The paper argues this requires both a clear statement of co-operative purpose supporting a definition of co-operative management and leadership’s role to provide the content of an ethical contract. The co-operative business will not achieve its commercial potential without clear differentiation of its brand in terms of its membership of the Co-operative Movement and the social and economic critique of capitalism addressing the challenges of our times that this movement represents. Currently the complex agency challenges inherent in the co-operative governance model and the dependence on the mainstream business school model for co-operative management development are preventing co-operatives fulfilling their mission. This requires a management and leadership recruitment, selection and development programme that can transform the co-operative movements various silos and business models with a common purpose to provide a new political economy that combines business success with global sustainability and individual member economic sufficiency accessible to all the world’s peoples. The paper concludes that co-operative to co-operative networking and collaboration to support this overarching strategic goal cannot succeed without managers committed to a co-operative ethical agency contract grounded on a clear definition of the role of co-operative management and an equally clear behavioural specification of co-operative professional managers as leaders.
CitationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance (ECMLG 2017) (Ed. Dr Martin Rich)
SourceECMLG 2017, 13th European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance, 11-12 December 2017, City, University of London, UK.
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)