A Behavioural Analysis of Co-operative Marketing Organisations
Most research to date on co-operative marketing has focused on large organisations. This paper explores co-operation that takes place between smaller businesses for the purpose of marketing the generic elements of their product. A review of literature discusses the business and social objectives of co-operative marketing organisations. It is suggested that the social element of such groups may be more important than in the strategic alliances of larger organisations. A proposition is developed that co-operative marketing groups have a tendency to begin life with a business focus, but over time a social focus becomes more important. The proposition is tested by a qualitative study of co-operative tourism marketing groups. While business objectives were cited by most co-operative groups as their primary goal, evidence within this study suggests that a drift toward more social objectives occurs as associations mature. Adopting a social role may be a means of extending the lifecycle of an association, while the missionary zeal of newer associations provides a focus for co-operation which has more clearly defined business objectives.