Open Access
Marete, Mary-Alice Mukiri
Graduate Program:
Agricultural and Extension Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 08, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Joan S Thomson, Dissertation Advisor
  • Joan S Thomson, Committee Chair
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Leland Luther Glenna, Committee Member
  • Theodore Roberts Alter, Committee Member
  • satisfaction
  • organization
  • cooperative
  • commitment
  • success
THE INFLUENCE OF COOPERATIVE STRUCTURE ON COMMITMENT, MEMBER SATISFACTION AND PERCEIVED SUCCESS Abstract The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which two components of cooperative success, member commitment and member satisfaction, are present in the Murang’a Nutribusiness cooperative. Member commitment and member satisfaction are documented (Cotteril, 2002; Fullerton, 2005; Bhruynis, 2001) key factors critical to the success of organizations. These two factors influence and are in turn influenced by the structure of an organization. This study uses the Allen and Meyer (1996) measure of organizational commitment to examine how committed Murang’a Nutri-business cooperative members are to their organization. For this study commitment was further operationally defined as including affective commitment (Cronbach’s alpha reliability=0.9) and continuance commitment (Cronbach’s alpha= 0.8). Participants responses to each of the items on the subscale were recorded using a 5-point Likert response scale ((1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Undecided, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Agree). Thus the higher mean summated value represents greater commitment. Previous research documented that affective commitment contributes positively to the success of an organization while continuance commitment acts negatively. Results of the study reveal that Murang’a Nutri-business cooperative members overall affective commitment was 3.6 on a 5-point Likert response scale. Continuance commitment overall was 3.0 on a 5-point Likert response scale. Examining results by position, affective commitment of leaders (4.9) was much higher than that of members (3.2). Continuance commitment was relatively the same for leaders and members. Primary factors that influence satisfaction are cooperative principle factors, organizational factors and operating management factors (Bhruynis, 2001; Rankin, 2007)). Variables found to significantly influence member satisfaction were identified and studied. Results of the study reveal relatively low satisfaction of members (2.2 on a 5-point Likert scale) compared to that of leaders (3.7on a 5-point Likert scale). This study draws on institutional economics theories of transaction cost, property rights and agency theory (Schmid, 2004; Zeuli, 2004; Royer, 2004; Borland & Coltrand, 2001; Illiopoulos & Cook, 1999; Schmid, 2004) to identify the optimal structure for Murang’a Nutri-business cooperative. Additionally, New generation Cooperative alternative structure identified by Chaddad and Cook (2004) offers further insights into the choice of structure that the Murang’a Nutri-business cooperative could adopt to ensure higher member commitment and member satisfaction. Results of the study indicate that the Murang’a Nutribusiness Cooperative requires a structure with well defined property rights to increase member incentives and consequently member commitment. Member business volume and participation in the cooperative’s activities is low. These results indicate that the cooperative needs capacity strengthening to address management, organizational and operational factors. The cooperative members require training in technical and non-technical training including developing business plans and marketing strategies. The cooperative members also require education on cooperative principles to enable them fulfill their roles responsibilities and obligations to the cooperative. A support network of government, non-governmental and private sector development practitioners and stakeholders is necessary to help the cooperative grow and become sustainable for the benefit of members and society.