Blog Entries

John McNamara, PhD - excelling in co-operative research and education

Erin Hancock, ICCM
John McNamara (PhD) - excelling in co-operative research and education
Education and research 
Dr. John McNamara graduated from the Master of Management, Co-operatives and Credit Unions program in 2010.  His final capstone project for the MMCCU program led to the creation of a rewards program for his taxi co-operative, Union Cab, a worker co-op serving Madison, Wisconsin. This, in combination with the establishment of online ordering options years before the industry caught up, built solidarity with loyal customers.  McNamara attained his PHD in Management at Saint Mary's University in 2018 - supervised by former Academic Director of ICCM, Dr. Larry Haiven. His research investigated management practices of worker and consumer co-operatives using the Co-operative Index tool to ascertain expression of co-operative values.  
Working in the co-operative sector 
In 2014, McNamara completed twenty-five years of service with Union Cab (co-op). He is now a full time co-operative developer with Northwest  Co-operative Development Center (NWCDC) and lives in Olympia, Washington. One his projects with NWCDC includes a 10-week academy designed to provide people with the knowledge and tools to bring their co-op from a dream into a reality. He has instructed and guest lectured on worker co-operatives, democratic management and public administration at Evergeen State College (Olympia, WA) and Presidio Graduate School (San Francisco, CA).
John's pathway for learning 
".....Learning through the MMCCU gave me the knowledge and skills to match the experience in actually managing. However, it is largely management in translation. Co-op managers have to learn the practices of management designed to maximize profit, not benefit people. Then, they have to unwind those practices and amend them to work with a value-based organization. This gave me the desire to go deeper to learn how to understand what a co-op based management system might look like.
....I was asked to be part of the research team with ICCM faculty among others investigating tools to measure co-operative impact and performance. I played a role in both developing the tool and using it in the field. While my PhD work originally focused on a different concept, I always had the idea of using the Co-operative Index tool in the back of my mind and was happy to be able to use it in research and demonstrate its value to co-op development." 
Read "Co-operative for Sustainable Communities: Tool to Measure Co-operative Impact and Performance" (2015)  - editors Dr. John McNamara (MMCCU Graduate), Dr. Sonja Novkovic (ICCM Academic Director), Dr. Daphne Rixon (ICCM Faculty, Director of CEARC) and more.