Stakeholder capitalism seeks to benefit multiple stakeholders, rather than primarily shareholders. Two increasingly popular forms are the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and the benefit corporation. But what happens when a company combines these structures? While the benefit corporation’s expanded stakeholder mandate may appear to come at the expense of employee-owner wealth and the potential for shared power, in fact they can complement one another. Being a benefit corporation can strengthen the employee-owned company’s ownership culture through enhanced engagement and creation of a meaningful work environment. And in turn, employee owners can add a layer of accountability to help them meet the benefit corporation’s expanded stakeholder mandate.
Watch a brief video about employee ownership at the company case site, EA Engineering.