This document has been made available in electronic format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) 
International Co-operatives Research Conference

Annual Conference of the ICA Resarch Committee: Values and Adding Value in a Global Context

13-17th of May 1998, Cork, Ireland


Organised with the assistance of Centre for Co-operative Studies, University College Cork, Ireland, and in collaboration with the HRD Committee of ICA.

As we near the end of the current millenium, it is becoming increasingly clear that competition is becoming more and more intense.

With deregulation and the changing role of governments, the financial pressures on many co-ops has become extreme. Yet there are numerous examples where co-ops seem to have reinvented themselves - developing value based practices and adding economic value. Researchers can play a constructive role analysing such developments both theoretically and practically, and help create a robust dynamic independent co-operative movement in the years to come. This year we are also inviting papers for a special workshop on Education, Training and Development: "Making a difference through value-based training" - reflections and research on content and methodology"; this workship will be organised in conjunction with the HRD Committee of the ICA.

It is expected that research may be based on case studies of co-operative experience, sectoral or country analyses, comparative studies, and theoretical analysis. Graduate students are encouraged to submit papers based on their dissertation research.

The conference will consist of plenaries and parallel workshops. Themes and workshops will be loosely linked; Papers will be clustered into workshops on similar subject areas, so far as possible. Participants should indicate which theme their paper addresses. Paper presentations will be about 20 minutes duration followed by questions. The following themes may prove particularly important (but we would welcome suggestions of others that participants feel would attract significant contributions):


1. Capital, Markets and Globalisation - the consumer and agricultural sectors

2. Strategies for Growth/Development - credit unions, workers, financial services

3. Social Co-ops and the Welfare State

4. State Policy and Co-ops - unemployment, exclusion, youth, contracts

5. Co-op Reconstruction - Eastern Europe

6. Trust and Co-operation - social audit, co-operative identity, and values

7. Development/Training - adding value (with HRD Committee)(Thursday)

The conference will be held at University College Cork, in Ireland, and hosted by their well known Centre for Co-operative Studies. The University first opened in 1849. The campus is centered around a beautiful Tudor Gothic quadrangle, on a hill above the River Lee not far from downtown. The city is Ireland's second largest and a major port. It radiates a remarkable charm with its hilly streets, bumpy bridges and peaceful backwaters. Nearby tourist attractions are Blarney Castle (with the Blarney Stone) and the scenic seacoast.