Understanding Support for ESOPs: Charts on Public Polling Data on Employee Ownership - CLEO Skip to main content


This 2019 presentation shows the great degree of support among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents for employee ownership. Nearly three-fourths of respondents in a national survey said they would rather work for an employee-owned company than for shareholders or the government. That view transcended ideological and partisan divides, with 74 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of Independents opting for the employee share ownership model.

“Americans disagree about a lot of things, but this is not one of them,” said Joseph Blasi, Director of the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. “Democrat or Republican, female or male, black or white, union or non-union, a majority of respondents said they prefer to work for a company with employee share ownership. It is rare to find such a national consensus on anything.”

The charts are based on data from the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. The GSS questions were sponsored and supported through a contract between the University of Chicago NORC and the Employee Ownership Foundation (EOF). The analysis was conducted by Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, on a volunteer basis. Please credit the EOF when using these charts.