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.
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
Work organizations are commonly studied as sites that produce and reproduce inequality. But we know much less about how organizations promote equality. This article examines efforts to broaden access to power, opportunity, and resources in Hotel Bauen, a worker-recuperated business that was converted from a privately-owned company into a worker-run cooperative. Drawing on extensive ethnographic … Read More
We examine the impact of the cultural norm of uncertainty avoidance on employee stock option (ESO) exercise behavior using proprietary data from a multinational firm. We find that employees from countries with higher levels of uncertainty avoidance exercise their stock options earlier. These findings lend support to a maintained assumption in the ESO literature that … Read More
This article focuses on the unique organizational structure, ownership model, and decision-making process at Mondragon Corporation, the world’s largest consortium of worker-owned cooperatives.
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
Values represent guidelines for behavior and are important determinants of organizational performance. In addition, employee-owned enterprises (EOEs) tend to outperform traditional organizations. Thus, identifying the core values that underlie successful EOEs should provide insights for improved firm performance. Based on an exploratory comparative analysis of eight high-performing, employee-owned companies, a common set of values that … 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
Haier Group and MLab organized the 1st International Rendanheyi Model Forum in Qingdao, China, in 2017, to explore the transformation of business models in the current era. Dr. Frank Shipper, the author of numerous case studies on employee owned companies and editor of the book Shared Entrepreneurship: A Path to Engaged Employee Ownership, gave this … Read More
The primary aim of this course is to provide an understanding of how organizational systems and individuals interact. In specific, there is a focus on employee ownership structures and business models that contribute to shared prosperity because they are more effective than alternative models.
This easy-to-read guide to employee ownership introduces what employee ownership means and how it works, interspersing information with company profiles. Also see the companion website at www.esopinfo.org.
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…
Harrell Remodeling, Inc. (HRI) is the result of a young woman’s belief in the ideas that good fortune comes from hard work; that anything is possible with enough commitment; that listening to and serving the needs of others is the only correct business model and that thoughtful, methodical planning is a good thing – not a handicap.
Course Description: The corporation is a controversial institution. It is the central institution that introduces us to the concept of capitalism. Among its virtues are the provision of jobs for employees and wealth for owners.
When things go wrong at work, as they occasionally do, a common first reaction is to look for the culprit(s). This can lead to punishment which may result in the ‘evildoer(s)’ being severely reprimanded, or even terminated. Unfortunately, not only does the problem often remain unsolved, the organization is left with another challenge of replacing a person or two. There may be a better way that doesn’t result in a lose-lose situation…
In many ways the persistent top-down command and control theme that supports established leadership thought and practice prevents organizations from fully tapping into their human resources, in turn limiting their flexibility to meet the challenges of increasingly dynamic, complex, and competitive environments. Shared Entrepreneurship replaces the top-down approaches of the past with a new framework that draws strengths and innovation from collaboration and sharing.