As KKR, a private equity firm, prepared to take Gardner-Denver, one of its portfolio companies, public in mid-2017, a discussion arose on the Gardner-Denver board about the implications of granting approximately $110 million in equity to its global employee base as part of its innovative “broad-based employee ownership program.” KKR (formerly known as Kohlberg Kravis … Read More
Platform cooperatives make possible a more democratic digital economy. They offer an alternative to extractive “platform capitalism,” one based on cooperative principles such as democratic ownership and governance.
This French language doctoral thesis examines the role of employee shareholders in corporate governance, drawing on original interview research.
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
The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services.
This study investigates how the effect of employee stock ownership on financial performance may hinge on the diverse cultural and societal contexts of European countries. Based on agency and national culture theories, we hypothesize that the positive relationship between employee stock ownership and return on assets (ROA) is stronger in those nations with lower uncertainty … Read More
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
Purpose A growing number of econometric examinations show that works councils substantially shape the personnel policy of firms in Germany. Firms with works councils make greater use of various human resource management (HRM) practices. This gives rise to the question of whether employers view the shaping of personnel policy positively or negatively. Against this background, … Read More
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to look at the effect of profit sharing (PS) on the ability of the firm to take care of the environment. Design/methodology/approach In a large cross-section of French firms, the authors find strong associations between PS and various innovations with environmental benefits. With cross-sectional data from the Community … 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.
With a growing prominence of sophisticated econometric research in a much-expanded field of New Economics of Participation (NEP), it is of particular value to learn about real-world examples of participatory and labor-managed firms in the advanced market economies through extensive case studies. In this volume of Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms, … Read More
The closure of Fagor Electrodomésticos in October 2013, the most iconic cooperative in the Mondragon Group, not only cast doubt on the economic and social management of the cooperative itself but also called into question the very viability of the overall cooperative model.
The chapter reinforces the fundamental roles of information-sharing and participation in enterprises with shared ownership, while making key distinctions between shopfloor and office workers experiences and perceptions.
This chapter maps existing patterns of broad-based worker ownership and control in contemporary advanced capitalism and considers future possibilities for expanding democracy within firms. Section one discusses worker ownership and control arrangements in relation to different theories of the firm and shows how these arrangements map onto different national systems. Section two compares Germany, which … Read More
In 2009, United Steelworkers (USW) and Mondragon signed an agreement to promote union co-ops: firms that combine democratic worker ownership and union membership. Eleven U.S. initiatives now seek to implement the USW-Mondragon union co-op model, prompting a debate about whether unions and worker cooperatives are stronger together. This article draws on a case study of … Read More
This research report from the United Kingdom shows that the arrival of millennials in the workplace is not a threat to the employee owned business model. On the contrary, employee ownership works well to meet the aspirations of millennials, as it does for other generations. The ability of the employee ownership model to harness the … Read More
MONDRAGON, the largest cooperative in the world, and the inspiration for several U.S. cooperatives, faces a challenge in 2013 after one of its largest cooperatives votes to leave the group and another goes bankrupt.
The academic literature emphasizes that shared capitalism positively affects employees’ attitudes at work. This paper investigates that issue by testing the relationship between shared capitalism and withdrawal behaviors (turnover and absenteeism). Recent literature interprets shared capitalism as a gift exchange between employers and employees. This paper builds on that literature. The analysis, based on an … Read More
Can We Do It Ourselves focuses on economic philosophy with an emphasis on the concept of economic democracy. The film helps viewers understand the difference between a market economy in which consumer demand drives a company’s supply of goods and services, and a capitalist economy in which private owners control production and hold a right to … Read More
Competitiveness today requires being able to operate at a global scale. The financial crisis invigorated this requirement, posing new challenges to the economic viability of conventional companies and demanding alternative organizational forms of production. Although a wealth of research has focused on capitalist companies, little attention has been paid to the way these challenges affected … Read More
This report provides an update on progress of the 2012 Nuttall Review, including recommendations measured against the commitments made in the U.K. government response to the review. Progress has been made against all 28 of the Nuttall Review Recommendations and in over half of the recommendations progress has been assessed as having been significant. Work … Read More
Take-aways from an international tour featuring the documentary film, “We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream.”
This Review looks at ‘short-termism’ within British business: the pressure to focus on short-term results to the possible detriment of the long-term health of a company, or even a whole industry. The investigation confirmed that short-termism constrains the ambition of UK business, holding back its development and inhibiting economic growth…
This film tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. The film highlights examples including Mondragon in the Basque Country in Spain and the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as smaller businesses including coffee shops and bakeries.
This review took evidence from a wide range of sources, covering, in particular, employee owned companies, sector representatives, professional advisers and employer and employee groups. The broad categories of obstacles to employee ownership were soon identified, and were continually reinforced as this review proceeded. They fall into the following three categories: a lack of awareness … Read More