This research presentation was hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in partnership with the Ford Foundation. The event explored how some companies are seeking to increase low- and moderate-income workers’ wealth through investments in ownership and employee benefits. Focus was on how efforts to improve the wealth of low- and moderate-income workers … Read More
Free market capitalism is one of the great achievements of humankind, bringing prosperity and economic freedom to billions of people and contributing to a flowering of individual freedom and possibility that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors. Today, however, increasing global crises are posing the greatest threat this economic system has faced. Growing income … Read More
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
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
The +Impact Studio teaches interdisciplinary student teams (e.g., MBAs, MSWs, MPH, MEng) how to use scholarly intellectual capital, business acumen and design methodologies to begin to address a wicked problem. Wicked problems are issues with societal import, that are difficult to understand, and are embedded within complex systems; for example, how might the financially precarious … Read More
Democracy has been disrupted by capitalism to the point of near extinction. Isabelle Ferreras proposes a simple, yet revolutionary solution: democratizing capitalism. Starting with the sociological observation that workers expect to be treated as full citizens, and drawing on the history of Western democracies, this book argues that workplaces are part of the public sphere, … Read More
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
This study highlights how a mismatch between an organisation’s goals and its legal form and structure can develop over time, and how a hybrid model may present a solution. This longitudinal qualitative study details the hybridising process by which a traditional for-profit company transformed into an employee-owned benefit corporation: the company implemented ownership and control … Read More
Inequality in the U.S. has been getting worse for decades: The richest 1% own a majority of all business wealth, and the top 10% own more than 90%. It has become clear that companies need to address the problem. One place to start is by expanding employees’ ownership stakes in companies, giving workers a path … 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 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.
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 handbook investigates ‘member-owned’ organizations, whether consumer co-operatives, agricultural and producer co-operatives, worker co-operatives, mutual building societies, friendly societies, credit unions, solidarity organizations, mutual insurance companies, or employee-owned companies. Such organizations can be owned by the consumers, producers, or employees—whether through single-stakeholder or multi-stakeholder ownership. ‘Employee-owned’ business means businesses where a significant proportion of the … Read More
Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited (KTDAL) follows a unique model under which small tea farmers are shareholders. The KTDAL business model, which has made small farming viable, can be replicated to address some of the basic issues and challenges facing the developing world, which has millions of small farmers. However, the model has been facing tough challenges of late. Amidst this uncertainty, some farmers have called for abandoning KTDAL…
In today’s economy, some employees live paycheck to paycheck and are unable to save for a rainy day, let alone retirement. However, an increasingly utilized business model may yield part of the solution. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are a promising alternative to traditional business models…
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.
In 1986, Dr. Beyster created the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED) to assist companies and individuals who were interested in furthering the concept of employee ownership, a core principle of Dr. Beyster’s entrepreneurial philosophy…
Designed for undergraduate students, Democratic Enterprise provides an open access, introductory-level analysis of democratic models of enterprise, namely co-operatives and employee-owned businesses.
Kevin Cleary, President and COO of Emeryville, California based Clif Bar & Company, explores how this privately held, employee owned company is also socially responsible. Series: ‘UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series’
CEO Michael Mendes has transformed a grower-owned cooperative into a publicly traded top marketer of snack foods. Diamond’s organization, culture, product development process, advertising and promotion strategy, and specifically its marketing department have been built ‘from the ground up’ to address fundamental changes in retail structure and consumer behavior. Can the Diamond model be successfully applied to other food categories?