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Abstract

Building on recent advances in cooperative literature and practice, we conceive two key organizational features of cooperatives: cooperative structure (in terms of control, ownership, and cost/pricing policies resulting in traditional and re-engineered co-ops) as well as entrepreneurial cooperative firm culture. Then we conceptualize and test the effect of these organizational features on the market orientation and performance of the cooperative firm relying on a sample of Dutch co-ops. We cannot establish a systematic influence of the cooperative structure; however, a significant influence of individualized member ownership on performance and of cost/pricing policies on market orientation has been found. Entrepreneurial firm culture has a significant effect on both market orientation and performance. [EconLit citations: L200, M310, Q130.] © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Agribusiness 20: 379–396, 2004.