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ISSN 1995-459X print
E-ISSN 2312-9972 online
ISSN 2500-2597 online English

Leonid Gokhberg


Ermanno Tortia1, Roberta Troisi2
  • 1 University of Trento, 5 Via Vigilio Inama, 38122 Trento (TN), Italy
  • 2 University of Salerno, 132 Via Giovanni Paolo II, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy

The Resilience and Adaptative Strategies of Italian Cooperatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic

2021. Vol. 15. No. 4. P. 78–88 [issue contents]
Third sector organizations, like the rest of the economic system, have been heavily affected by the pandemic. The aim of this work is to study resilience and adaptability to crisis in terms of economic results and innovative outcomes of the cooperative business model in the Italian third sector during the COVID pandemic. It uses new evidence from a recent survey on the Italian third sector and consists of two main parts. In the first, the institutionalist literature on contractual failures is assumed as an interpretative key in the comparison between the business model, governance, and routines in social cooperatives versus other non-profit organizations (NPOs) interpreted as third sector entities. In the second, we use the new data from a third sector survey in the Marche region, collected in the late spring of 2021 at the end of the pandemic outbreak. Empirical assumptions concern organizational resilience and adaptation to unexpected negative shocks in cooperatives and other NPOs. The results show that, in the management of the crisis, cooperatives are better able to preserve their human capital and resort to layoffs less often than other NPOs. Shared decision-making, employee involvement, and the adaptability of the work process emerge as dominant organizational characteristics that support resilience and service innovation in cooperatives. The main policy implication concerns the ability of cooperatives to play a stabilizing and a-cyclical role during the crisis and to fill the supply gaps left open by other organizational forms (private, non-profit and the public sector). The originality of the paper lies in its new approach to cooperative organization and in the analysis of the reaction of cooperatives to the pandemic.
Citation: Tortia E., Troisi R. (2021) The Resilience and Adaptative Strategies of Italian Cooperatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Foresight and STI Governance, 15(4), 78–88. DOI: 10.17323/2500-2597.2021.4.78.88
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