Title: Cooperative unions as strategic alliances: factors that influence the successful managing of a cooperative from a relational perspective

Authors: Vitor Figueiredo; Mário Franco

Addresses: University of Beira Interior, Estrada do Sineiro, 6200, Covilhã, Portugal ' Department of Management and Economics, CEFAGE-UBI Research Center, University of Beira Interior, Estrada do Sineiro, 6200, Covilhã, Portugal

Abstract: The objective of this study is to understand how cooperative unions can be seen as strategic alliances and, more precisely, to identify the factors that influence the successfully managing of a cooperative union. To this end, from the relational perspective, a qualitative investigation approach was adopted, by means of a case study - The União das Adegas Cooperativas do Dão (UDACA) in Portugal - where the instruments for collecting information were the interview and documental analysis. The study suggests that the success of cooperative unions is indeed affected by structural and processual factors. In addition, there seems to be another set of social factors that can influence the success of this type of cooperative alliance. This study also intends to contribute to managers, decision-makers and cooperators' understanding of which factors to take into consideration to increase the chances of cooperatives' success, not only in their creation, but also with a view to their sustainable growth.

Keywords: wine producers; strategic alliances; success factors; relational perspective; coperative unions; cooperation; Portugal; structural factors; procedural factors; social factors; wine cooperatives.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2017.080740

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.13 No.1, pp.27 - 51

Available online: 15 Nov 2016 *

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