The main aims of this course are: to provide a general theory of the firm to facilitate the understanding of agribusiness firms with particular reference to cooperatives to make students acquainted with linking theory to practice to familiarize students with the application of business models to offer an understanding of policies on food, farming and agribusiness development to introduce students to entrepreneurship, business administration and governance issues to introduce students with the public, social and ecological environment of the firm
· The student will be able to understand the theory and practice of business Students will be able to compare and contrast cooperative business with other business models, in particular the public limited company and family businesses Students will understand the function of the agricultural and rural economy, the agricultural policy effects Students can apply theory to judge local and regional business environment on effectiveness Students can use their skills to reason and to develop their own hypotheses and thoughts Students will develop skills to integrate knowledge to analyse and to synthesize.
The course provides an intensive knowledge of business performance. The concepts of governance, economics of finance and organisation. Social Venturing Economics and Entrepreneurship.The three relationships between members and their cooperatives. The main business models, strategy, management and the relationship between external and internal markets. Transaction cost and agency theories applied to cooperative businesses. Analysing differences between business models(the customer value proposition, a profit formula, key processes and key resources) .
The prime modes delivery are reading, lecture, discussion and creative interaction. The writing of an essay by a small group of students. Groups apply mutual evaluation of own work. Lectures are given on the basis of theory applied to real life cases and vice versa to let students understand both literature and business practice. Students are instructed in writing case studies. Interviewing and data sampling are instructed and being applied by groups (2 – 4) persons.
Final exam: on the basis of essays and referee reports