How we structure ownership and work in healthcare matters. As a society, we underpay and under-support—under-care-for—the very workers we rely on to provide health and care services to others. The COVID-19 pandemic briefly spotlighted this fact as health workers braved risks to care for the vulnerable. The worst of that crisis has passed—but the extractive … Read More
This Kent State University course is motivated by the broad question: what role can workplace democracy and employee ownership play in creating an economy that works for all? Workplace democracy and employee ownership take a multitude of forms and are receiving renewed attention from public officials, the business community, social movement leaders, and academics. Nearly … Read More
Can a nonhierarchical organization set its own rules? Can it avoid reproducing hierarchy and exploitation in order to better support its clients and workers? Can it survive, as a consensus-based organization, within the system of capitalism and within institutional settings that expect hierarchy? This case study examines Alliance Collective, an anti-authoritarian therapy collective of practitioners … Read More
This case study examines the only physical therapy practice in the country to be structured as a worker cooperative. Founded in 2010 by 12 coworkers who left their previous employer to start their own practice together, PT360 has grown to become the largest independent physical therapy practice in the state of Vermont. It now has … Read More
No other state has as many individual home care cooperatives in operation as Washington. Although small and limited to date to serving the private pay market, Washington’s home care cooperatives suggest that “another way is possible” for organizing home care provision in the state. The business model they are piloting breaks with dominant, extractive, models … Read More
This case study examines Five Point Holistic Health, the Chicago health center organized as a worker cooperative. The center offers acupuncture, psychotherapy, and bodywork treatments and services. From its earliest days, the worker-owners of Five Point have prioritized making its services affordable and accessible to the community. After years of hard work, they have achieved … Read More
The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry’s partnership with Cleveland Clinic is perhaps the best-known example of an “anchor institution” approach to economic development in the United States. The worker-owned business is the primary laundry vendor for the Cleveland Clinic’s entire northeast Ohio area. Their experience to date suggests that it is indeed possible for a health system … Read More
Obran is a cooperatively owned holding company with a related financing arm. It recently acquired a 50-person home health care business based in Los Angeles and the cooperative is under letter of intent (LOI) for a 100-person home health business serving the Bay Area. With this unique model, the cooperative’s leadership seeks to create quality … Read More
Founded in 2012, Golden Steps is a Brooklyn-based worker cooperative of immigrant women of color, all of whom have roots in Central and South America. Providing services to those who do not qualify for Medicare or need more than what Medicare will pay for, Golden Steps operates in a part of the market where home … Read More
Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) holds a significant place within the U.S. worker cooperative and long-term care landscape. For decades, it has been the largest worker cooperative in the country by some distance. CHCA workers are also members of the largest union in the country, 1199Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers East (1199SEIU). Through its … Read More
Contingent workers make up a large part of today’s healthcare workforce, and the healthcare industry is America’s most contingent worker-dependent industry. While contingent healthcare workers overall earn low pay with few benefits, contingent work burdens fall most heavily on women of color, due to deep race and gender-based inequalities that have long plagued the healthcare … Read More
The field of broad-based employee ownership within corporations is a specific application of the foundational topic of property ownership. It is situated at the intersection of a broad range of scholarly disciplines including economics, law, finance and management. Each discipline contributes vocabulary and distinctions describing this field. That broad spectrum of disciplinary inquiry is a … Read More
These resource slides are designed for teaching faculty who teach about organizational “alternatives” to dominant corporate and bureaucratic forms of organization. The slides include links to recommended books, films, organizational case studies, sample syllabi and other resources appropriate for a wide variety of college-level classes. Individual slides are tailored to specific classes, including Methods, Theory, … 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
Isthmus Engineering is an example of a highly democratic worker-owned firm operating in an industrial sector that one might not think of as fertile ground for participatory democratic governance—the design and manufacture of highly technical custom automation machinery. From the beginning, membership in the cooperative has been open to any worker, regardless of role or … 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 National Center for Employee Ownership YouTube Channel includes webinars and videos on a variety of topics related to employee ownership. NCEO is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting the employee ownership community since 1981. Its mission is to help employee ownership thrive.
The Employee Ownership Expansion Network YouTube Channel includes informative short videos about employee ownership. EOX is a national nonprofit focused on significantly expanding employee ownership across the United States by establishing and supporting a network of independent nonprofit State Centers for Employee Ownership.
This booklet helps business owners evaluate employee ownership. Thousands of business owners have decided that employee ownership is the best way to preserve the job security of their workforces and protect the character of their companies while providing them and their families fair value. In “Who Should Own Your Business After You?,” several of them … Read More
Becoming Employee Owned is an initiative of the Democracy at Work Institute, a movement-based think-and-do tank supporting worker cooperatives to grow to a scale that creates meaningful change in the economy. The website includes resources for small businesses and company profiles.
Laws in many countries mandate paying men and women equally when in similar jobs. Such laws, coupled with considerable organizational efforts, lead some scholars to contend that within-job pay inequality is no longer a source of the gender pay gap. This article argues important differences in a widely used form of pay heretofore overlooked in … Read More
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