Wages don’t cover the bills. Wealth inequality is growing. Social trust is eroding. There are endless debates about what to do, but one key factor is inexplicably left out: who owns the companies that drive the economy? Ownership matters. Ownership by a few means benefits for a few. But if you spread ownership around, you … Read More
Under what conditions do cooperatively owned enterprises scale to stand alongside investor-owned firms? This article measures and attempts to explain large cooperatives’ variable prevalence across high-income capitalist democracies. Controlling for other known social, economic and geographic factors, statistical models confirm that state-mediated institutional arrangements, as operationalized through two comparative capitalism frameworks (Varieties of Capitalism and … Read More
This book argues for the abolition of the current employment system in favor of workplace democracy. The abolition of slavery abolished not only the involuntary ownership of other people (workers) but also voluntary contractual forms of lifetime servitude. That system of lifetime servitude was replaced however by the current system of voluntary renting, hiring, employing, … Read More
In Workers ‘ Self-Management in Argentina, Marcelo Vieta homes in on the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (ERTs or worker-recuperated enterprises), a workers ‘ occupy movement that surged at the turn-of-the-millennium in the thick of the country ‘s neoliberal crisis. Since then, around 400 companies have been taken over and … Read More
We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream is a documentary from the Foundation for Enterprise Development that follows three companies of different sizes in different industries and regions (New Belgium Brewing, Namaste Solar, and DPR Construction) that use employee ownership in diverse ways (an ESOP, a worker cooperative, and a phantom stock plan respectively). … Read More
This paper proposes that impact investors and other capital providers could catalyze employee ownership buyouts. Impact capital could become the lever used to redirect wealth into the hands of working Americans, creating a more just and equitable economy that is more resilient against future shocks. Investments in employee ownership buyouts could offer attractive midrange returns, … Read More
The purpose of this paper is to explore employee participation in ownership and control in a modern corporation and its impacts on intra-organizational social capital and workplace dynamics.
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
The authors offer a bipartisan exploration of employee ownership, its history, and the simple, common sense policies to help this proven wealth building approach grow exponentially.
This report has two goals. The first goal is to answer questions about undue risk in order to prevent companies from adopting employee ownership structures that endanger workers and jeopardize the collective benefits of broad-based sharing. The second goal is to help create widespread support for policies that would encourage greater adoption of beneficial employee … Read More
When a company does well, so should its workers. American workers have helped the economy grow by becoming more productive. Yet, even as productivity has increased, many middle- and working-class households have experienced stagnant wages and declining household incomes over the past few decades. This means workers currently receive only a small share of the … 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
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.
Even the rich are admitting that inequality is bad for business…
In 1964, the famous television bandleader Lawrence Welk went for a drive in the country north of San Diego, Calif. planning to invest in a grove of orange trees. Instead he bought a motel and a nine-hole golf course. One of the keys to their business success has been their philosophy of treating their employees like family…
If owners of businesses are reaping the rewards of economic growth at the expense of workers, then why not just try to increase the number of workers who also own a piece of the firms that employ them?
In the wake of the 2010 Massey mining disaster in West Virginia, the author asks whether employee ownership could improve workplace safety, and how such cooperatives might serve as a model for an alternative form of capitalism based on the sustainable use of natural and human resources.
Employee Ownership 101 is designed as a concept exploration two unit elective course. After completing the course, students will have an understanding of the role of private capital in the development of wealth and the evolution of private capital from its earliest forms to our modern capitalist system.
After completing the course, students will have an understanding of the philosophical and theoretical bases for broadening access to capital among wider ranges of the population as a way of strengthening the capitalist model.
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.
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…
To make an economy that serves us, we need to own the jobs and the businesses—together. How cooperatives are leading the way to empowered workers and healthy communities…
Looking around at the wreckage left in the wake of the world economy’s latest crisis, veteran business journalist Marjorie Kelly noticed that some institutions were left relatively unscathed. What did they have in common? The key, Kelly realized, is seemingly obscure: ownership. Prominent among the survivors were organizations that combined the flexibility of traditional private ownership with a focus on the common good…
When companies are owned by workers and the community—instead of Wall Street financiers—everything changes.
Capitalism is living in interesting times. Politicians, academics and activists around the world are debating the merits of the capitalist system, and how and if it could be improved…