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New hebridean co-operatives : an indigenous adaptation of an external model of enterprise in response to economic under privilege

Smith, A (1978) New hebridean co-operatives : an indigenous adaptation of an external model of enterprise in response to economic under privilege. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94661) (KAR id:94661)


Cooperatives in the New Hebrides started late compared to the movements in other South Pacific territories. Once established, their success was

spectacular. I argue that the reasons for this lie in the former domination of the economy by traders and the major commercial houses. The demand for cooperatives arose mainly from the people themselves as a means to break the hold of the traders. Although Western European in origin, the Cooperative Model has proved compatible with indigenous ways. The grassroots nature of the local movement has been the foundation of its

success. Where the people's commitment has been lacking, cooperatives have experienced severe difficulties. The performance of a cooperative depends greatly upon the quality and enthusiasm of its committee and its secretary/storekeeper. Instances are given of cooperative failures on these grounds. Store credit has often been cited as a principal cause of failure of indigenous business. This is not generally supported by the evidence of rural New Hebridean cooperatives. An analysis of expenditure in cooperative stores reveals that the goods in greatest demand are imported foodstuffs and alcohol. Beer is the most popular purchase in licensed cooperatives. Capital equipment forms only a small percentage of purchases. The economic behaviour of cooperative members conforms to a consumer demand oriented model of production. Cash is not required for itself but for what it buys. Production is discontinuous and there is little surplus. Copra supply is affected by numerous variables but foremost are felt wants and the disutility of effort. Chayanov's concept of the Labour-Consumer Balance is used. The conclusion is that cooperative enterprise has adapted successfully to meet New Hebridean needs and provides a basis for the development of the rural economy/

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94661
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Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2023 15:09 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2023 15:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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