All entrepreneurs in the same cooperative? The unusual adventure of Oxalis as told by Béatrice Poncin[Proceedings] by Béatrice Poncin


Béatrice Poncin, 43 years old, 3 children. Co-founder of Oxalis, where I practiced a number of very different activities and for which I assumed the position of general manager until September 2008. I now want to accord myself more time for writing... but, until then, I take on missions having to do with the stewardship of projects, practice analysis, action-research, and work on the senses... and I plan to participate in a ‘manager-resource' program to take the time to ‘synthesize' my ‘intuitive' and cooperative management experiences, to take a step back from my practices to bring about elements of theorization. I am the author of 2 books: Ineffable Trajectories, which retraces the life of Oxalis as a collective economic adventure, was published by Éditions du Croquant in May 2002, and Employee without Employer?, which is an analysis of activities cooperatives as new entrepreneural mode came was published by Éditions du Croquant in May 2004.

In 1989 Béatrice Poncin resigns from the public hospital sector to start, with some others, a project at the Broissieux farm in the Bauges hills regions. Despite early critics, these individuals, passionate about nature and the spirit of solidarity, fight to place their values at the center of their professional project: cooperation, solidarity, pooling of resources, active participation, fulfillment of the person and respect for the environment. The association Oxalis begins in 1992, and in 1997 the scop-sarl (private commercial entity under cooperative ownership) under the same name is founded in the goal of supporting local development projects. Today a publicly traded company, Oxalis welcomes into its structure autonomous and conjoined activities, and presents itself as an entrepreneurial cooperative. Each entrepreneur is salaried by Oxalis and each develops his/her own activity while benefiting from the pooling of general administrative services offered by Oxalis (accounting, law, support, instruction, etc....). How did Oxalis transform itself while conserving its initial values? What tools were created to assure the preservation of a cooperative spirit? It is this adventure composed of successive developments and interrogations that Béatrice Poncin narrate to us from her experience.

Quote article  Béatrice Poncin, « All entrepreneurs in the same cooperative? The unusual adventure of Oxalis as told by Béatrice Poncin », 09 march 2009, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Proceedings]

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