This book argues for the abolition of the current employment system in favor of workplace democracy. The abolition of slavery abolished not only the involuntary ownership of other people (workers) but also voluntary contractual forms of lifetime servitude. That system of lifetime servitude was replaced however by the current system of voluntary renting, hiring, employing, … Read More
In Workers ‘ Self-Management in Argentina, Marcelo Vieta homes in on the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (ERTs or worker-recuperated enterprises), a workers ‘ occupy movement that surged at the turn-of-the-millennium in the thick of the country ‘s neoliberal crisis. Since then, around 400 companies have been taken over and … Read More
Democracy has been disrupted by capitalism to the point of near extinction. Isabelle Ferreras proposes a simple, yet revolutionary solution: democratizing capitalism. Starting with the sociological observation that workers expect to be treated as full citizens, and drawing on the history of Western democracies, this book argues that workplaces are part of the public sphere, … Read More
Job quality has received increased attention from academics and policy makers across industrialized countries. Yet, there has been limited assessment of how job quality is impacted by different organizational forms, including cooperatives and employee-owned businesses (EOBs). Although there has been growing interest in how cooperatives/EOBs impact on employee outcomes, comprehensive assessments of the range and … Read More
Employee ownership has attracted growing attention for its potential to improve economic outcomes for companies, workers, and the economy in general, and help reduce inequality. Over 100 studies across many countries indicate that employee ownership is generally linked to better productivity, pay, job stability, and firm survival—though the effects are dispersed and causation is difficult … Read More
Labor unions and worker-owned businesses share the objectives of generating better jobs and giving workers control over their workplaces. The scaling of worker ownership paired with unionization offers pathways to expanded worker power and wealth-building for working people. The purpose of this paper is to show strategies used by labor unions to support the creation … Read More
The Worker-Owner Workbook can help teams develop cooperative businesses and worker-ownership culture. The book teaches the nuts and bolts of running a co-op business, from business financials to conflict management to team building. It also contains essential information about the co-op movement, labor movement, and the Mondragon cooperative network of Spain. The Worker-Owner Workbook is … Read More
How does a business go about transitioning —“converting”— to a worker-owned cooperative? This report provides illustrations with case studies of businesses that have converted and highlights key lessons from those companies’ experiences. The report categorizes conversions into four types: Type I: Owner sells to existing employees with the intention of remaining with the company; Type … Read More
Despite substantial scholarly attention to workforce demographic diversity, existing research is limited in understanding whether or in what contexts firm-level racial diversity relates to performance and workforce outcomes of the firm. Drawing on social interdependence theory along with insights from social exchange and psychological ownership theories, we propose that the use of broad-based stock options … Read More
This paper analyzes participation decisions in employee stock purchase plans. These plans allow employees to buy company stock at a discount from the market price and resell it immediately for a sure profit. Although an average employee stands to gain $3,079 annually, only 30% of individuals take advantage of this risk-free opportunity. Participation is more … Read More
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 … Read More
This study highlights how a mismatch between an organisation’s goals and its legal form and structure can develop over time, and how a hybrid model may present a solution. This longitudinal qualitative study details the hybridising process by which a traditional for-profit company transformed into an employee-owned benefit corporation: the company implemented ownership and control … Read More
Organizational scholars and workplace equality advocates have largely dismissed the ability of democratic employee ownership to deliver power and autonomy to working-class employees. This chapter addresses this gap by investigating how two 100% employee-owned and democratically governed worker-owned cooperatives (businesses where employees are both the owners and the directors of their workplaces) succeeded and failed … Read More
This booklet provides a “users’ manual” for workers, especially immigrant workers, and their advocates, for organizing a worker-owned cooperative as a worker empowerment strategy.
CoopGateway is the world’s largest digital library on cooperatives and mutuals. Created by the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives of HEC Montréal, CoopGateway aims to promote access, development and sharing of knowledge on cooperatives and mutuals in the digital age.
Studies show that when people are intrinsically motivated and engaged in a healthy environment, innovation and productivity thrive―yet many business leaders stick with “command and control” organizational structures, using extrinsic reward frameworks that fail to inspire others. How can we do better? We believe the solution starts with values-based individuals dedicated to improving the lives … Read More
The concentration of ownership by the very wealthy is supported by a financial system that enables them to acquire income-producing capital basically on credit whereas no such financing strategy is available to the mass of the population. A solution lies in creating a system whereby every individual has the right and opportunity to acquire income-producing … Read More
Worker cooperative practitioners and developers often claim that democratic worker ownership advances egalitarianism within and beyond the workplace, but most of the empirical evidence in the U.S. is based on ethnographic case studies or small-scale surveys. We leverage the first national survey about individuals’ experiences in these unique firms to ask if claims that co-ops … Read More
In Croatia in 2005, a machine tools factory was occupied by its workers. Since then, they have operated collectively, becoming the only successful example of a worker occupation in post-socialist Europe. Today, as they seek a new model of collective ownership, the world of the factory clashes with the forces of the globalized market economy, … Read More
This interactive course introduces the seven cooperative principles: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; member economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community.
Employee ownership is a big, bold idea, a market tested concept that is capable of transforming the American economy and rebuilding the American dream. This white paper includes policy proposals for turning more workers into owners.
The United States business sector is dominated by small businesses that create new jobs at a rate considered faster than that of their larger competitors. Remarkably, military veterans own nearly 13 percent of small businesses. However, only eight percent of all veteran-owned firms are minority owned. The low percentage of minority-owned veteran businesses is perplexing … Read More
This paper examines the impact of an economy-wide shift to broad-based employee ownership on wealth concentration in the United States. Relying on government data, we show that if all private firms became 30% employee-owned, the wealth distribution would be profoundly altered. Those currently in the bottom 90% of the wealth distribution would see substantial gains, … Read More
This primer focuses on one set of tools the labor movement can utilize to build power, expand wealth, and deepen member engagement in the years ahead: worker ownership. It explores: How Unions and Worker Ownership Work Together How Worker Ownership Can Build Power for Workers The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Overcoming Challenges Looking … Read More
In this presentation to a business school class, Anne-Claire Broughton, Founder of the North Carolina Employee Ownership Center and Broughton Consulting, presents about employee ownership and pay fairness to Dr. Lynn Bowes-Sperry’s Business Ethics Course. Dr. Bowes-Sperry is Associate Professor of Management & Jack and Susan Acosta Endowed Chair at the California State East Bay … Read More