Cooperative Entrepreneurship: Future Back Thinking, Translation, and Digital Organizational Change in the Credit Union Space


  • Matthew J. Hill



In this essay, I examine cooperative entrepreneurship’s role in driving digital organizational change in a Southern California credit union that caters to a mobile university population. Drawing on Joseph Schumpeter’s interpretative approach to entrepreneurship, I highlight the pivotal role of an innovative CEO in combining a new technology, AI chatbots, with the credit union’s existing technologies to create a new means of production in a contact center: AICCs or Artificial Intelligence Contact Center Agents. I extend Schumpeter’s theory by showing both how future-back thinking can generate ideas for new methods of production, and how acts of translation can help align these methods with local organizational values, overcoming resistance to change. I suggest that such combinatorial activity can help credit unions to sustainably compete against a new breed of financial technology companies known as fintechs.

Author Biography

Matthew J. Hill

is principal of Matthew J Hill Consulting and a business anthropologist and organizational consultant with over 20 years of experience working with mission-driven organizations in the areas of strategy, cultural change, and leadership development. He teaches organizational dynamics in leading executive education programs and has published widely in leading business journals, including recent articles on digital transformation in CU Management and organizing cultural change in the Journal of Business Anthropology. He is also a co-author on a forthcoming edited volume on strategic collaboration between national parks and tribal nations. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago where he conducted research on World Heritage Cities around the world.


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