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
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
Herman Miller is widely recognized as the leader in the office furniture industry and has built a reputation for innovation in products and processes since D. J. De Pree became president over 90 years ago. Herman Miller is one of only four companies and the only non-high-technology enterprise named to Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” and “The 100 … Read More
In 2008, W. L. Gore & Associates celebrated its fiftieth year in business. During the first four decades of its existence, Gore became famous for its products and for its use of business teams located in a single facility. To facilitate the development of teams, corporate facilities were kept to 200 associates or fewer. Due … Read More
In 1983, Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal, and Michael Rozyne were all recent college graduates and working for a food co-op warehouse in the Boston area. They began to question the system: What if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? What if … Read More
An overview of the Case of HCSS, also found in the CLEO database.
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.
Whereas prior studies have used across-industry data to find that employee-owned firms are more likely to survive recessions than others, what such firms do differently was unclear. A literature review failed to reveal a prior study that looked at the internal practices that may cause this to happen.
A review of the literature found that companies that practiced a progressive set of HRPP and made decisions based on democratic principles are rare. Thus, knowledge of such a company should be valuable.
This case illustrates the rationale for adopting employee ownership, and difficulties in implementing employee empowerment beyond investment. In the beginning it focuses on why Jerry Pritchett, one of the co-founders of Pritchett Controls, decided to convert it to an employee-owned company. In the body of the case, it details the efforts of the company to … 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.
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
To survive, Atlas changed from an external to an internal growth strategy. The smoothness of the transition could at least be partially attributed to a set of internal strategies that were unusual for a commodity/cost-driven industry. They included democratic governance and employee ownership…
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.
SRC Holdings Corporation, formerly Springfield Remanufacturing Corp., is a well-known manufacturing enterprise comprised of numerous companies spread across 12 Business Units…
In an unusual partnership, the United Steelworkers of America union helped the firm’s new owner-managers convert to an ESOP as part of a reorganization. This effort saved jobs and the company. Since that time, the firm’s employees have proven to be its most valuable asset and a key source of its competitive advantage…
Equal Exchange is a cooperative organization that taps into the full capacities of everyone involved in a socially responsible way. This article describes how it has used the wisdom of its multiple stakeholders to create a collaborative community, to be profitable, and to have significant positive impact on people’s lives and the environment in approximately 20 countries.
The case describes a unique corporate culture that motivates employees to achieve the organization objectives. It also discusses the company development strategy, the concept of shared leadership and how their recent partnership with a major private equity firm may have changed TEOCO’s culture and its business model…
Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. [HCSS] designs and sells hi-tech software to the heavy/highway construction industry. The case describes a unique corporate culture that has made HCSS a business success in a highly competitive industry.
KCI, a multi-disciplined engineering firm, has undergone a number of transformations over the last several decades. It started as a basement dream, was acquired and sold-off by a larger firm, and has emerged as a multi-million dollar employee-owned organization.