Dong H (2019). Contemporary Agricultural Co-operatives in China: a Multi-case Comparison of Tea Co-operatives and Their Supply Chains.
Abstract: Contemporary Agricultural Co-operatives in China: a Multi-case Comparison of Tea Co-operatives and Their Supply Chains
This research generates insights into the rapid multiplication of agricultural co-operatives in Mainland China before and after the introduction of China’s first law on agricultural co-operatives in 2007. More specifically, the research utilises a multiple-case research method to explore the specific context of small-scale tea co-operatives and their supply chains. The research has several objectives. First, to explore how the values of co-operatives conform to Chinese society and culture. Second, to develop a typology of Chinese co-operatives based upon data collected for the tea co-operative industry. Third, to analyse the relationships among the membership of different types of co-operatives to determine if they result in different operational performance. Fourth, to explore how internal factors affect the power dynamics between a co-operative and its stakeholders. . The data informing this research was generated through semi-structured qualitative interviews. Triangulation is achieved through the analysis of documentary sources and the researcher’s observations (including participation in tea production). There are three principal findings resulting from the empirical research relating to: the recognition and comparison of Chinese co-operatives and Western co-operative values; building a construct model of Chinese agricultural co-operatives with propositions derived from embeddedness and institutional theories; and the creation of two typologies describing contemporary agricultural co-operatives in China.