This article evaluates worker-owned and unionized worker-owned cooperatives as alternatives to the conventional corporate structures for businesses in the United States. With their focus on democratic governance and shared ownership, worker-owned cooperatives offer an antidote to the extreme inequality of income and deterioration of working conditions that workers are experiencing. These are inequities for which … Read More
The global Covid pandemic and the Third Reconstruction and renewed labor activism within the U.S. challenge us to find more humane, sustainable, and egalitarian ways of living and working. Those in the labor movement and the cooperative movement, who have been working to build union cooperatives, offer a vision for one type of more humane, … 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
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
These resource slides are designed for teaching faculty who teach about organizational “alternatives” to dominant corporate and bureaucratic forms of organization. The slides include links to recommended books, films, organizational case studies, sample syllabi and other resources appropriate for a wide variety of college-level classes. Individual slides are tailored to specific classes, including Methods, Theory, … Read More
Cooperatives have been central to the development of New Orleans. Anne Gessler asserts that local cooperatives have reshaped its built environment by changing where people interact and with whom, helping them collapse social hierarchies and envision new political systems. Gessler tracks many neighborhood cooperatives, spanning from the 1890s to the present, whose alliances with union, … Read More
By taking the great example of regional ESOP promotion pioneers, engaging the University of California in the effort and working to engage other educational institutions as well as leaders in business and the local employee ownership community, we believe that it will be very possible to build strong regional support for the idea that communities ought to be the most active supporters of employee ownership…
This brief focuses specifically on business owners and the racial wealth gap as related to African Americans and Latinos. As a group, Asian Americans face a smaller and narrowing wealth gap, and hold business and financial wealth at the same level as Whites. Native Americans face substantial challenges in creating income and wealth, but the … Read More
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.
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…
It’s a unique model – the worker-owned business. Some say it sounds like socialism, but these six companies say it’s helped them tough out the recession.
This paper summarizes new evidence from the “Shared Capitalism” Project on the extent to which workers’ earnings depend on the performance of their firm or work group in the US and advanced European countries and on the impact of sharing arrangements on economic behavior.
Staff members at Vasey Commercial Heating & Air Conditioning in Zionsville are company owners as part of an employee stock ownership plan.
Is worker-ownership an instrument for solidarity and social change? Will its organizational form stimulate a social consciousness that leads members to be involved with social movements such as community development, labor activism, environmental campaigning, or human rights promotion? To answer these questions Luhman offers textual data that suggest that worker-ownership may be an effective instrument for solidarity and social change dependent upon the collective political vision of the members.
This report looks at the current situation in relation to employee financial participation (EFP) and its recent developments in the new Member States (NMS) of the EU: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Why ESOPs work well for Minnesota companies. The state of Minnesota claims more ESOPs per capita than any other state.
The survival rate of worker cooperatives and employee-owned firms in market economics appears to equal or surpass that of conventional firms. But they typically return a different combination of economic benefits to their member-owners than do conventional firms…
Can a support organization enhance the development and performance of an employee-owned sector in a market economy? That is the question this paper will address.
Nonprofit corporations, cooperatives, and credit unions constitute an alternative avenue of hope and action for communities that have come up short in the normal operation of the market economy. These organizations comprise the third sector, which accounts for approximately 10 percent of U.S. economic activity.
This paper presents finding from our most recent research on the transformation of participatory employment practices of Japanese firms in the 1990s, during which the Japanese economy slowed down considerably. The operation appears to be of particular public policy interest for many countries considering participatory employment practices as a way to improve their productivity performance and thus competitiveness.
The fifty employee owners of Jet Rubber Company, a manufacturer of custom molded goods and rubber-to-metal parts founded in 1955, celebrated the 10th anniversary of their ESOP in March 2003.
The growth of ESOPs over the past 25 years is part of a general growth in compensation arrangements linking worker pay to company performance, including profit sharing, gain-sharing, and broad-based stock options in addition to the various methods of employee ownership.