Our Research Approach

The UW Center for Cooperatives’ approach to research embodies the Wisconsin Idea. Our relationships and interactions with new and established cooperatives guide our research questions; and our research informs our education, outreach, and cooperative development efforts.

We produce research that sheds light on the unique attributes of cooperatives and advances our understanding of how cooperatives benefit people and communities. Toward that aim, we prioritize the following questions:

  • What makes cooperatives similar to and different from other forms of enterprise?
  • How does cooperative ownership affect enterprise behavior, strategy, and decision-making?
  • What is the range and prevalence of specific governance practices across the cooperative community?
  • Where are the most opportune areas to advance cooperatives’ practices in governance, management, and member engagement?
  • How do cooperatives provide value to their members and the broader community?

Research Team

Courtney Berner

Position title: Executive Director

Email: cberner@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 890-0966

Yanni Liang, PhD

Position title: Cooperative Researcher

Email: liang34@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 261-1355

Data Requests

If you are interested in learning more about UWCC’s research activities, please contact Courtney Berner at cberner@wisc.edu.