The Evolution of Management in the Mondragon Cooperatives  - CLEO Skip to main content


The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation (MCC), a system of worker cooperatives located in the Basque country of Spain, is still considered to be one of the most significant models of worker ownership and community economic development, in the world. In the 1970’s, the pressing problems of plant closures with the shift from an industrial based economy to the global and information based system which now prevails led many of us to see Mandragon as a model that could truly address many of our economic challenges. The MCC’s goals of local control and ownership of resources coupled with a commitment to the cooperative principles resonated with the desire to create greater democracy in the workplace and better quality jobs that would not disappear when corporation saw cheaper labor pools elsewhere. In the field of community economic development, where we have experienced the effects of global capital shifts and the uncertainties of federal funding, Mondragon stands out as a model that was developed without a reliance on subsidized funding and continues to be locally owner and controlled. For this reason, it has had tremendous appeal as a model for building local economies.