Final Report on the Progress of the Pilot of the Contextualising of CDS Approach in Teaching Material at UWS Business School

Steve Talbot

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report is the final feedback on the collaborative pilot study between Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) designed to introduce the co-operative business model into mainstream teaching in higher education. The main focus of the study was to explore the possibility of introducing CDS-produced material on the co-operative approach into existing programmes and modules being taught by the Business School at UWS. It was clear form CDS and other academic and government-sponsored research that the benefits of the co-operative approach in business does reap rewards across a variety of key indicators. Despite these potential benefits it was also clear that the co-operative approach had not yet found its way into mainstream teaching, particularly at key stages in higher education.

Our proposal for the project highlighted a number of obstacles to introducing the co-operative model to current curriculums in universities but in particular they include the lack of flexibility within programme design due to the bureaucratic nature of introducing such change, the need to find a compatible bespoke co-operative module that meets a programme’s specific needs and also a lack of awareness of the co-operative approach among teaching staff. Our proposed solution to these obstacles was to attempt to ‘sprinkle’ the co-operative model on to an existing suite of Enterprise modules. We were looking to test whether this approach can have the desired effect of embedding the co-operative approach in to the mainstream without placing too much of a burden on staff and programmes:

Thus, the aim of the pilot was twofold: firstly to identify suitable Business School enterprise modules where specifically CDS designed higher education (HE) material could be used to support teaching; and secondly, to assess the academic ‘fit’ of the material within the mainstream enterprise teaching portfolio. We decided for the purposes of the pilot to focus on only two co-operative models: consortium co-operatives (CC) and employee ownership (EO). These became the main vehicles for delivering the co-operative message.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of the West of Scotland
Commissioning bodyCo-operative Development Scotland
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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