A critical analysis of the 'cooperative' strategy to poverty reduction : a case study of cooperatives in Lagos, Nigeria
The aim of this thesis is to critically examine whether cooperatives can be effective at poverty reduction, in response to the renewed call for a cooperative strategy to poverty reduction. The thesis studied cooperatives as a social organization and examined the interrelationships between the cooperatives and the members, the factors that hold both together to promote and deter the success of the cooperatives, the motivation for members’ participation and their expectations from the cooperatives. These were then used to discuss and evaluate cooperatives as a poverty reduction strategy. The study followed an inductive method for data collection and analysis. Focus group discussions were held with members and managers of two cooperatives and the constant comparative method was used to analyze the data generated. The study concluded that there are three important factors that can determine if cooperatives can be effective at lifting the members above poverty. The conception and ideas of the members; that is their expectations of what a cooperative should and could do, their motivation for participation; are they fully motivated to actively participate? and what are the experiences of poverty in their lives; how do they conceptualize poverty? When these factors were combined in the study, the data concluded that cooperatives can not effectively lift the participants under study above poverty, although it could assist them to ‘manage’ poverty. Thus from the result of the study, the cooperative as a poverty reduction strategy will only act to overburden the cooperatives, yet the cooperatives can be assisted to perform within its capabilities. ...
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