This work presents a history of the co-operative firm in China from its origins in the early twenth century. The aim is to describe how in its evolution, the Chinese Co-operative Movement has diverged from the western notion of a co-operative. To understand the similarities and the divergence, we will consider a number of economic and cultural factors, including the etymology of the Chinese and English words for ‘co-operative’, the Confucian culture and the influence of the political contingencies. We argue that contemporary Chinese economic transition would benefit from the presence of a strong, western style, co-operative sector but that the contribution of the co-operative sector towards sustainability cannot take place unless a civil society develops as well.
- civil society
- human development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management