Meka Apparao

Doctor of Philosophy, (Agribusiness)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Examining Commitment and Heterogeneity within the Membership Base of Agricultural Co-operatives: An Empirical Study of a Large New Zealand Dairy Co-operative

For agricultural co-operatives, a strong relationship between a member and the co-operative is vital. However, there are few studies examining the member - co-operative relationship. Mr Apparao addressed this research gap by developing a framework that links three important socio-psychological phenomena in agricultural co-operatives: Commitment, Heterogeneity, and Social Capital. Thereafter, he empirically examined the commitment and heterogeneity components by randomly surveying 2,000 members of Fonterra. Mr Apparao found that although Fonterra had high levels of heterogeneity, this did not result in low levels of commitment. Importantly, predominantly influencing a member’s commitment to collective action was the affective (emotive) commitment followed by the normative (ideological) commitment, not the continuance (utilitarian) commitment.

Dr Elena Garnevska
Professor Nicola Shadbolt