Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education

Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit (CERU)


Further information

Visit the Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit website.



For more information about CERU contact:

Winthrop Professor Tim Mazzarol
UWA Business School
Tel: +618 6488 3981
Email: [email protected]

Dr Elena Mamouni Limnios
Assistant Professor UWA Business School
Tel: +61 404 554 854
Email: [email protected]


Co-operative Enterprise Research UnitThe Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit (CERU) is a focal point for research, education and outreach activities focusing on the co-operative and mutual enterprise sector. CERU is a multi-disciplinary unit with skills that encompass the business, economic and social aspects of these unique enterprises. Our global research network offers a broad range of skills and expertise.

Our purpose

Co-operative Enterprise Research UnitCERU was established to enhance the field of research into co-operative and mutual enterprises. We also aim to make a significant contribution from that research to education, policy and practice in the sector.

The modern co-operative movement can trace its origins back to the foundation of the Rochdale Society of 1844. Today it is a global movement with co-operative and mutual enterprises found in almost every country and across most industry sectors.

Since the 19th Century the Co-operative enterprise has been founded on the principles of democracy, voluntary and open membership, member economic participation, autonomy, independence, collaboration, education and a concern for the community. These principles have changed little over the past 170 years and remain even more relevant today.

The noted Economist Professor Alfred Marshall was a strong advocate of the co-operative movement. In his inaugural address to the Cooperative Congress in 1889 he said of co-operative enterprise:

“I regard it as the typical and most representative product of the age; because it combines high aspirations with calm and strenuous action, and because it sets itself to develop the spontaneous energies of the individual while training him to collective action by the aid of collective resources, and for the attainment of collective ends. ... What distinguishes co-operation from all other movements is that it is at once a strong and calm and wise business, and a strong and fervent and proselytising faith.”  -  Professor Alfred Marshall

Despite the passage of time little has changed in relation to the key role of the co-operative enterprise. Yet the field of co-operative enterprise research and education remains fragmented and outside the mainstream of the university. This is the challenge that CERU takes up.


CERU Projects

CERU is engaged in a number of research and education projects focused on understanding the co-operative and mutual enterprise business model; its structure, operations, competitiveness and sustainability. More information on our projects can be found here.

Research Team

CERU draws together a strong, multi-disciplinary team of researchers from around the world. For more information on the members of CERU please go to the following link.

Co-operative Enterprise Network

CERU seeks to provide a gateway to co-operative and mutual enterprise organisations and research centres globally. There are already a number of groups with whom we are collaborating and others with whom we are seeking to collaborate.

More information on these groups can be found via the following link read more..


CERU has produced a number of research publications including books, journal articles, and conference and discussion papers. It also offers access to a range of publications not readily available via other channels. For more information on our research database and publications please go to the following link.