2014_Does the Effectiveness of Board of Directors Affect Firm Performance of Consumer Co-operatives? - The Case of ICOOP Korea -


Does the Effectiveness of Board of Directors Affect Firm Performance of Consumer Co-operatives? - The Case of ICOOP Korea -


최은주(Eunju CHOI), 최우석(Woosuk CHOI), 장승권, 박상선

Sangsun PARK


Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics


CIRIEC (International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy) 


Consumer co-operatives in Korea have been growing rapidly since they launched their own shops. If co-operatives would be too much oriented to enlargement or economic growth, they might easily pay no attention to members’ participation which is one of the priorities in co-operatives. It could lead to losing the value of co-operatives. So it is important to adjust the balance between members’ participation and economic growth. This paper focuses on the role of board of directors in doing that. It aims to examine how effectiveness of the board influences members’ participation and the participation has effect on performance of co-operatives in the case of iCOOP Korea. The variables such as communication with members and usage of management skills and knowledge are employed as measures of the effectiveness of the board in decision-making process. The data are collected by survey the respondents of which are 222 directors of 30 primary co-operatives. It is analyzed by Structural Equation Model. The findings of the research are as follows. Firstly, communication of the board with members increases the members’ democratic participation, and the increased participation contributes to improving the financial performance. Secondly, management skills and knowledge of the board does not have significant relations with the level of members’ participation, even though members’ economic participation has significantly positive relation with the financial performance. The findings imply that members’ voluntary participation will be increased when boards of co-operatives try to reflect members’ needs in the decision making processes, and it can help the co-operatives improve their financial performance. It suggests a clue for the trade-off between the value of co-operatives and growth of business which many co-operatives are trying to resolve.