The Wikipedia article (first link, above) is an interesting overview, especially its description of decision-making:
"A cooperative enterprise may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which managers and administration is elected by every worker-owner, and finally it can refer to a situation in which managers are considered, and treated as, workers of the firm."I suspect that the choice of decision-making model strongly affects how big the company can get. When I lived in a cohousing community the decision-making process was the biggest gridlock; they tended to try to solve everything in a waterfall/big-upfront-design approach (where you must know all the answers and details and consequences before you make a decision). This, combined with the meeting cycles, made things move slowly. In our community this wasn't disabling but it was annoying and tedious, and it doesn't scale and doesn't work so well for a business which needs to be more nimble.
Obviously our dominant corporate decision process isn't very good either, based on giving CEOs god-like power and responsibility, with the only consequences being fired (and even that usually produces a big financial reward).
I think the decision-making process in the next organizational structure will encourage everyone in the company to make their own decisions and take some risks in the process, while at the same time providing decoupling gateways/interfaces between components (including individuals, teams, groups, sub-companies, etc.) to prevent failed experiments from taking down the systems around it (more about this idea in a later post).