A new publication from the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network (MCDRN) in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives (CEARC) investigates how and why co-operatives should assess their performance and their impacts on society.

The book is the work of academics and practitioners who gathered to share their research and experiences with a variety of accounting and reporting tools and practices at an international conference in 2012. The event was an opportunity to identify and debate various reporting needs and practices, to hear from practitioners regarding the purpose and methods of reporting in their co-operatives, and to identify the building blocks for the establishment of key supports for co-operatives engaged in performance measuring and reporting.

The conference was exploring five interconnected themes:

  1. Statistics and data collection
  2. Putting co-operative principles into practice
  3. Community impact
  4. Member and stakeholder engagement
  5. Reporting practices (co-operative identity and sustainability)

These interconnected themes offer an international snapshot of the work being undertaken in measuring co-operative impacts. The authors provide a critical analysis and suggest ways forward for practitioners and researchers to address challenges identified during the 2012 conference.

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