Building Community Trust through Cooperatives: the case of Caring Home Services.


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Wilson Majee

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Building Community Trust through Cooperatives: the case of Caring Home Services.

  1. 1. Building Community Trust Trough Cooperatives: The case of Caring Home Services Wilson Majee, PhD University of Missouri Extension Northwest Region 102 S. Broadway Princeton, MO 64673 Tel: 660-748-3315 Email: WEB:
  2. 2. Building Community Trust Why the fuss about building community trust?
  3. 3. SOCIAL CAPITAL INDICATORS Trust stronger communities are built on trust, participation Participation/ and networking. Engagement Networks/Connections
  4. 4. The Power of Trust
  5. 5. So what matters? Organizations that build trust: Cooperatives  Principles and values  Voluntary and Open Membership  Democratic Member Control  Cooperation Among Cooperatives  Education, Training and Information  Concern for community  Member Economic Participation  Autonomy and Independence
  6. 6. Research Question How do worker-owned cooperatives create TRUST?  When cooperatives create TRUST, how do they do it? Assuming cooperatives create trust, worker-owned cooperatives provide the greatest opportunity for the creation of trust and enhancement of community stability.
  7. 7. Research Design  Qualitative Design:  Case Study : Caring Home Services, a worker-owned cooperative  83 member owners  Established in 1991  Case Qualifiers:  Less than 10 yrs old  Successful  Operating in a rural area  Employees or members are low to moderate income people
  8. 8. Data Collection  In-depth Interviews:  22 members, 10 professionals and 5 clients.  Survey: 27 members  Document Analysis: Business Plan, Bylaws, Newspapers, Newsletters, Reports and Minutes.
  9. 9. Data Analysis FINDINGS
  10. 10. Findings They [doctors] were going to put me in a nursing home and she [Smith] came to my house to help. She said, ‘do not worry, you do not have to give me money, you are my friend, friends do not pay each other. (Interview with caregiver, August 30, 2006).
  11. 11. Findings “I do see them out in the community telling people that they work for Caring Home Services. It has been fun to watch their transition…. I believe it [the cooperative] has boosted their self-esteem and their confidence enormously. They have all learned a great deal about the day to day operations of a business....It’s not just me it’s now us, I see that just in their body language. They walk taller, they have pride in what they are doing, they are able to verbalize” (Interview with a professional, May 10, 2006).
  12. 12. Findings One client, a young quadriplegic woman, described her caregivers as “girls” who are “dependable” and “great”. “I never worry about anything” she added (Interview with client, June 14, 2006).
  13. 13. Findings  Members felt they were enjoying increased:  self-confidence (20 of 22 members, all profs)  member/client/professional/community interaction (all interviewees)  trust among them, with professionals and their clients (18 of 22 members)  skills (leadership, organizational, punctuality) which improve their employability within and outside the co-op (17 of 22 members)
  14. 14. Summary Mentorship Training Annual meetings Newsletter Conferences/workshops Community volunteerism Member/client picnics Task committees
  15. 15. Live. And Learn.