Even before the pandemic, many workers struggled to build wealth. Divisions between men and women, and between white households and households of color, are particularly striking. The pandemic has exacerbated and heightened awareness of these inequities, and there is a mounting sense of urgency to find practical solutions. Increasing participation in business ownership can help … Read More
At the center of the ongoing debate about the causes and cures of inequality in America today is the vast difference in wealth between owners and workers. As many have noted, that gap was not nearly as large in the middle of the twentieth century as it has become in the first two decades of the 21st century, where owners and other executives make many multiples of what workers make – largely through grants of stock in lieu of salary.
Research linking broad‐based employee stock ownership (BESO) with firm performance continues to receive considerable attention both in and outside the field of management. Despite the evidence being generally positive regarding the BESO–firm performance relationship, there has been a relative dearth of research providing insights into the circumstances surrounding the effectiveness of BESO. With this research … Read More
This 2019 presentation shows the great degree of support among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents for employee ownership. Nearly three-fourths of respondents in a national survey said they would rather work for an employee-owned company than for shareholders or the government. That view transcended ideological and partisan divides, with 74 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of … Read More
A major theoretical objection against employee ownership is that workers become inadequately diversified and exposed to excessive financial risk. Recent theory concludes that 10-15% of a worker’s wealth portfolio can be prudently invested in employer stock provided the rest of the portfolio is properly diversified. This paper analyzes employee share ownership in U.S. family financial … Read More
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the historical background for broad-based ownership in the USA, the development of forms of employee ownership and profit sharing in the USA, the research literature on employee ownership and profit sharing and related employee participation, the development of policy and options for new policies. Design/methodology/approach It … Read More
Do firms with employee ownership (EO) programs exhibit greater employment stability in the face of economic downturns? In particular, are firms with EO programs less likely to lay off workers during negative shocks? In this article, we examine the relationship between EO programs and employment stability in the United States using longitudinal Form 5500‐CompuStat matched … Read More
Employee ownership is a situation in which employees have an ownership stake in the firm where they work, through holdings of firm stock. It is a channel through which employees share in the profits of the firm and can vote on important firm decisions and otherwise have increased participation in workplace decisions.
When Workers Become Owners Professors Joseph Blasi, Richard Freeman, and Douglas Kruse explain how sharing the ownership or profits of a company with workers can improve productivity, pay, and work life quality – all while reducing economic inequality. Bonus – Jump on the Bandwagon Professors Blasi, Freeman, and Kruse stay post-interview to discuss why trade unions, business schools, and … Read More
This article analyses the linkages among group incentive methods of compensation (broad‐based employee ownership, profit sharing and stock options), labour practices, worker assessments of workplace culture, turnover and firm performance in firms that applied to the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For in America’ competition from 2005 to 2007. Although employers with good labour practices … Read More
Ownership and decision-making are key issues in the economic restructuring taking place as economies struggle to emerge from the Great Recession, and technological change and globalization continue to place new demands on workers and firms. Corporate, labor, and policy leaders are increasingly recognizing the potential role of employee ownership, cooperatives, profit sharing, and other ways … Read More
The idea of workers owning the businesses where they work is not new. In America’s early years, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison believed that the best economic plan for the Republic was for citizens to have some ownership stake in the land, which was the main form of productive capital. This book traces the development of that share idea in American history and brings its message to today’s economy, where business capital has replaced land as the source of wealth creation.
This special edition of The Nation brings together a wide range of articles on new ways to shape capitalism, and to work on economic recovery.
What can be done to reverse the economic disparity in our nation and restore prosperity for all? This paper lays out a policy reform that will help restore the link between economic growth and the earnings of workers so that the recovery re-establishes a prosperous middle class. The reform encourages firms to develop broad-based incentive compensation systems that link employee earnings to the performance of the firm. This reform would give employees access to the capital-related earnings of their companies comparable to that of the senior executives who run these firms.
Between one-third and one-half of employees participate directly in company performance through profit sharing, gain sharing, employee ownership, or stock options.
Group incentive systems have to overcome the free rider or 1/N problem, which gives workers an incentive to shirk, if they are to succeed.
This paper addresses whether the risk in shared capitalism makes it unwise for most workers or whether the risk can be managed to limit much of the loss of utility from holding the extra risk.
Apart from the extreme cases that get publicized, are employee stock ownership plans generally good or bad for workers?
This paper examines the effect of a variety of employee stock ownership programs – including ESOPs and broad based stock options – on employees’ holdings of their employers’ stock, their earnings and their wealth.
The authors found that companies with broad-based stock option plans (here, defined as those where most nonmanagement employees receive option grants) had statistically significant higher productivity levels and annual growth rates than public companies in general and their peers.
This paper uses data from NBER surveys of over 40,000 employees in hundreds of facilities in 14 firms and from employees on the 2002 and 2006 General Social Surveys to explore how shared compensation affects turnover, absenteeism, loyalty, worker effort, and other outcomes affecting workplace performance.
This collection of papers provides background on a number of employee ownership issues.
Almost half of American private-sector employees participate in shared capitalism — employment relations where the pay or wealth of workers is directly tied to workplace or firm performance.
This paper investigates the relationship of ‘shared capitalist’ compensation systems—profit/gain sharing, employee ownership, and stock options—to the culture for innovation and employees’ ability and willingness to engage in innovative activity.
This study examines the development of economic democracy in the United States since the 1700s with particular emphasis on the last 30 years. The particular focus is on employee ownership…