Cooperative organisation developed as a means of protecting the interests of the weaker sections of society against exploitation and oppression by the economically strong and powerful sections.

It is a form of organisation wherein persons associate together voluntarily and on equal basis to further their common interests. For example, consumers may join hands to provide goods at cheaper rates by establishing direct contacts with manufacturers and thereby eliminating the profits of middlemen.

Similarly, people belonging to the working class may form a cooperative society to provide houses at low costs to the members. A cooperative society is based on the principles of self help and mutual help and its primary motive is to render service to the members.

Meaning and Definitions of a cooperative society according to various personal


Some popular definitions of cooperative organisation are given below. Cooperative organisation is “a society which has its objectives for the promotion of eco­nomic interests of its members in accordance with cooperative principles”

A cooperative society is “a form of organisation wherein persons voluntarily associate together as human beings on the basis of equality for the promotion of the economic interests of themselves.”

Cooperative is a joint enterprise of those who are not financially strong and, therefore, come together not with a view to get profits but to overcome disability arising out of the want of adequate financial resources.

Cooperative is an association of individuals to secure a common economic goal by honest means.


A cooperative society is an enterprise formed and directed by an association of users, applying within it the rules of democracy and directly intended to serve both its own members and the community as a whole.

A cooperative society is a union of individuals who generally join voluntarily, established on the basis of democracy, freedom and universality for the purpose of joint performance of economic acts of common interests to improve the material and moral position of its members, using the force of honest, cash and carry services, and mutual help.

Which may be backed by government support, the net surplus being applied partly for general good and efficiency and partly shared in proportion to the business done by each member with the society and not in proportion to the paid-up capital, which is allowed only a moderate rate of interest.

Cooperative organisation is “an association of persons, usually of limited means, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve a common economic end, through the formation of a democratically controlled business organisation, making equitable contributions to the capital required and accepting a fair share of risks and benefits of the undertaking”.