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Co-operatives Research Unit

Roger Spear

Roger is Chair of the Co-operatives Research Unit and Senior Lecturer in Systems, in the Faculty of Maths, Computing and Technology at the Open University. . Recently he has carried out studies of social enterprises in the UK and Europe. He is currently working on a project on social entrepreneurship.

He has worked on a number of EC funded research projects on worker takeovers of failed businesses, on social co-ops, and on social enterprises. His research has resulted in conference papers, journal articles, and several chapters in books. He is a member of the board of the UK Society of Co-op Studies, and Co-Chair of the European International Co-operative Alliance Research Committee, responsible for organising international conferences and workshops annually. His early research was on development issues for worker co-operatives through numerous small and medium sized projects.

Since joining the OU in 1974, he has worked on a range of courses in the Organisation Studies and Management Science area. He chaired a package of courses to assist in the development of workers co-operatives (Co-op Working 1, 2 & 3). He has helped produce a course pack on 'Better Meetings' for co-operatives and other organisations in the social economy. He has also been involved with a series of courses heading to Diploma and MBA qualifications in voluntary sector management, and an EC funded course for ICOM - 'Strategic Management in the Social Economy'.

He is involved with some smaller research consultancy training projects in Eastern Europe. He has an active interest in 3rd world co-ops and has researched these in Africa, Asia and South/Central America. In this context he has provided training material for a branch of the UN-based ILO, and produced policy study reports for agencies working for co-operative development in Africa.


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