The institute is an expression of scientific collaboration between the kibbutz movement and the university of Haifa.
The goals and major activities are in four areas:
- Research: Current research topics are: changes in the kibbutz structure, outcomes of changes in the kibbutz, leadership, regional development, democracy in a crisis period, reasons for leaving the kibbutz. A yearly survey of institutional changes in the kibbutz community and a yearly opinion survey of a representative sample of kibbutz members are conducted since 1990 by the institute.
- Teaching and dissemination of kibbutz knowledge; The institute directs it efforts at diversified audiences: The broad scientific community, the kibbutz membership, kibbutz policy makers and university students. Publications, symposiums, conferences and seminars are adapted to the different audiences. Students and researchers from aboard visit the institute and use its data basis and research facilities.
- Bibliography for kibbutz related publications; The institute developed a comprehensive computerized bibliography of all scientific publication related to the kibbutz. The bibliography contains some 5,000 items, about half in Hebrew and the rest mostly in English. It is constantly updated. The institute is also the Center for the Study of Industrial Democracy and Self-Management. Staff.
- Applied research services to kibbutz communities and organizations.
Research is both basic and applied, and deal with the internal functioning of the kibbutz and the relationship with the Israel society.
The institute participated in a series of international comparative studies dealing with workers' participation in decision making in industrial organizations, social support of the aged, the political activity of women etc.
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About the kibbutz
The first kibbutz was founded in 1910 and since then more and more kibbutzim were established, first in Palestine under Turkish rule, followed by British control and then in Israel.