Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives of HEC Montréal
Thanks to a major donation by Desjardins Group to the Campus Montréal campaign, the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives of HEC Montréal was created in 2014. Its purpose is to understand and promote the place and role of cooperatives in the economy and society and, in doing so, to shed more light on management practices, policies and actions required in the future to promote the identity of cooperatives and ensure their development.
The Institute’s mission is:
- Promote and support the development and the sharing of knowledge on cooperatives;
- Provide a forum where the different actors of the cooperative movement can train and exchange;
- Ensure the evolution of research towards an “open” model, broadening cooperatives research themes to all disciplines.
The Institute’s work is structured around three fields of activities, corresponding to the three aspects of its mission:
- Access to knowledge, with CoopGateway: Promote the access, development and sharing of knowledge on cooperatives and mutuals in the digital age.
- Expertise and transfer: Organize, in partnership with cooperatives, learning, knowledge transfer and training activities, and create an international discussion and networking hub on selected management themes.
- Research: Supporting high-level researchers from different disciplines and their students who are interested in analyzing cooperatives.
These three areas of activity serve to support teaching and research, with the aim of promoting understanding of the cooperative model. They have an overall logic and reinforce each other.
At the academic level, collections of unique digitized documents hosted within CoopGateway constitute a knowledge base that can be exploited directly by researchers. The analysis of documents and the teaching materials produced are then reintegrated into CoopGateway, enriching knowledge, supporting the teaching of the cooperative and mutual model, and allowing other researchers to produce new research.
At the economic level, the database of digitized annual reports of a large number of cooperatives, including the Top 300 cooperatives into CoopGateway allows to lead unprecedented quantitative analyses, arousing an economic interest for the sector of cooperatives and mutuals. The economic analyses are then reintegrated into CoopGateway, generating new interest for the field.