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
This mini-case study examines ComSonics, which first adopted an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1975, introducing its culture and its unusual Employee Advisory Committee.
This mini-case study examines employee share ownership at National Van Lines, where an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) provided a family-run business a succession plan that ensured the continuation of the company and protected employee jobs. Just one-third of family businesses successfully transition from the first to the second generation of ownership and only 12% … Read More
This case study examines employee share ownership at North State Grocery, where the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) solved a transition challenge in a company owned by two siblings. Thanks to the ESOP, long-term employees, including frontline staff such as cashiers and bakery workers, build a larger cushion of retirement savings than is typical in … Read More
This case study examines employee share ownership at Parksite, Inc., where the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is paired with a strong company culture and high job quality. For the company’s co-founders, the ESOP provided a solution to a major transition challenge. The company’s long-term employees accumulate considerable stock wealth through the ESOP. Discussion questions … Read More
The goal of playing the Great Game of Business has always been to find a way to teach the have-nots how the haves make it. It’s about creating and distributing wealth equitably as a way to close those gaps in wealth that plague our society. It’s about changing the game. Change the Game is filled … Read More
These Guidelines for Equitable Employee Ownership Transitions are a collaborative work of practitioners and thought leaders in the fields of investment management, employee ownership, and socially responsible business who believe deeply in the promise of shared enterprise ownership to build a more just and inclusive economy.
This case study describes John Lewis Partnership. John Lewis Company has been in business since 1864. In 1929, it became the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) when the son of the founder sold a portion of the firm to the employees. In 1955, he sold his remaining interest to the employee/partners. JLP has a constitution and … Read More
This course will explore the contemporary revival of interest in broad based employee share ownership structures. We will investigate the legal and policy frameworks that presently structure employee ownership.
This 2019 MIT Sloan case by Zeynep Ton and Katie Bach describes how the executive team at Mud Bay, a privately held pet store chain based in Olympia, Washington, implemented a good jobs strategy by offering better wages and benefits and seeking to recoup the costs by increasing sales growth and lowering other expenses.
Employee stock ownership gives employees a voice and therefore may have a major impact on corporate governance. Thus, employee stock ownership may be a powerful mean to protect CEOs from both market for corporate control and dismissal threat. In this paper, we examine the relationship between employee stock ownership and CEO entrenchment. Following the recent … 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 case study focuses on Wawa, the convenience store, gas station and restaurant company. Founded in 1803, Wawa morphed over time from an iron foundry to a textile mill, to a dairy farm, dairy delivery business, grocery store, then convenience store. Dark clouds descended with the 2008 financial crisis. As competitors converged on Wawa, management … Read More
This qualitative research project focuses on a compare and contrast between acquisitions by ESOP and Non-ESOP organizations from a consultant’s perspective to obtain a third party viewpoint. Also discussed is a review of the academic literature on Mergers and Acquisitions, the reasons for failures, and possible solutions for successful acquisitions. An ESOP is an Employee … Read More
In December, my family finalized a very personal, and we hope impactful, gift titled, J.R. Beyster Papers, to UCSD Library’s Special Collections. After about one year of pre-processing, the collection includes more than 200 boxes of documents covering more than 50 years of hundreds of advanced scientific innovations, small- to billion-dollar business experiments, and discontinued to transformational government program development.
Two major shifts in contemporary work organizations—“employee participation” and “diversity management”—have typically been studied in isolation from one another. Building on theoretical work by Acker (2006a,b), we ask how the interaction of these two constructs has affected the pursuit of workplace democracy at two worker cooperatives in Northern California. Using qualitative methods, we find that … Read More
The opportunity to convert businesses to worker cooperatives is increasingly becoming recognized as a strategy for strengthening our local economies. The need—and opportunity—for lenders and other capital providers to participate in these sales transactions is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. But only a handful of lenders in the U.S. specialize in lending … Read More
My contention is that the most successful companies are built on mutual trust, honest information, and a belief in people rather than on new, top-down, more for less, processes that increase worker output in order to satisfy customers…
The Berrett-Koehler (BK) case highlights the efforts of a competitively successful, mission-driven, socially responsible publishing company to preserve its values, culture and practices while ensuring continued future success. The case provides an opportunity to cover corporate governance topics such as: ownership structures, shareholder relations, CEO and organizational succession planning, and board roles and responsibilities.
William H. (Bill) Carris set a deliberate purposeful course for the whole system change that he deeply desired for his employees. The Carris transformation, innovative in its own right, provides examples of change from being traditionally owned, managed and governed to having shared ownership, participatory management and shared governance by the whole…
This Critical Mass Radio Show discusses why, when and how business owners should choose the ESOP path as the correct succession strategy…
In 1986, Dr. Beyster created the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED) to assist companies and individuals who were interested in furthering the concept of employee ownership, a core principle of Dr. Beyster’s entrepreneurial philosophy…
Many closely held company boards only meet in the virtual world of corporate counsel’s template minutes and perform their important functions without much more thought than what is required to make a signature. In ESOP-owned companies (or any structure that provides for broad ownership among employees of the company) the landscape changes, and the independent role of the board of directors as well as its oversight function become significantly more important.
Selling a business to an ESOP often requires significant changes to the company’s governance structure. If your board of directors has consisted solely of family members, or close friends, you may not welcome this change, but outside directors can help you run the business more judiciously and effectively…
Most people know either first-hand or through someone close to them what it feels like to not be valued, to not have a say, to not have control, or to be demotivated at work. A feel-good movie about three companies – New Belgium Brewery, Namasté Solar, and DPR Construction – that strive for the opposite is a welcome relief.