Death Of A Co-op: The Quesnel Hardwood Co-Operative
Struggling to survive drastic restructuring in BC's forest industry, small-time harvesters and processors in Quesnel, BC combined forces. They created a co-op to channel "nuisance" birch and aspen into hardwood markets in Canada and abroad. Hard work and opportunity were not enough. Was the co-op's eventual failure a function of the sector? Of members' inexperience? Perhaps it was untutored enthusiasm? Was it because of being under-capitalised? What role did unexamined assumptions play? The prevailing culture of rugged individualism? The notion of freedom framed in the pioneers’ entrepreneurial spirit? The complexities of this case represent well the importance of the linkages between conceptual, contextual, strategic, and nitty-gritty management and technical issues, and how they play out to foster success or, as in this case, failure.