International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
ISSN: 2351-8014
Friday 03 July 2020






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In Press: An Institutional Approach to Stakeholder Participation in Cooperative governance: The role of Legitimacy


Asma El Aarroumi1 and Badia Oulhadj2

1 Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de gestion, Universite Hassan the 1st, Settat, Morocco
2 Laboratoire Stratégie et Management des Organisations (LASMO), Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion (ENCG), Université Hassan 1er, Settat, Morocco

Original language: English

Received 29 April 2020

Copyright © 2020 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this paper is to shed light on how legitimacy, a core concept of the institutional theory, may present a relative framework for understanding stakeholders’ participation in cooperatives’ governance. Co-operatives are recognizing the importance of involving stakeholders in their governance structures. In fact, particular forms of cooperatives have emerged as a result, namely, multi-stakeholder cooperatives, a cooperative form that bring together multiple stakeholders with diverging interest and where governance is more sophisticated than homogeneous member cooperatives. Stakeholder participation in governance has raised researchers’ interest whose assumptions have often questioned the viability of this practice due to the multitude of interests. Hence, we believe that this question deserves our full attention. In this framework, this paper aims to shed light on the importance of the concept of legitimacy in understanding the link between cooperatives and their environment embodied by stakeholders’ involvement in governance. In other words, we study how stakeholders are able to serve the cooperatives’ common objective despite the divergence of their interests as we highlight the role of legitimacy, a central concept upon which institutionalism is founded.

Author Keywords: Cooperatives, Stakeholders, Governance, Institutional theory, Legitimacy.