In this video workshop, “The Sociology of Worker Ownership: New Data Sets and Research Approaches,” leading researchers introduce datasets that enable the study of worker ownership. The workshop opens with comments from Joyce Rothschild and Joseph Blasi, and is moderated by Adria Scharf. Janet Boguslaw, Laura Hanson Schlachter, Nancy Weifek, and Joseph Blasi present. Sarah … Read More
This is a list of datasets, all accessible to researchers, that enable the study of employee ownership.
This two-page Business Action Guide describes the nation’s largest worker owned cooperative, Cooperative Home Care Associates, and its innovative approach to scheduling.
The case for employee ownership is undisputed. As philanthropists and government leaders grapple with how to address both long-entrenched and newly-emerging forms of economic insecurity, there is no better time to look to effective but lesser-known solutions, such as employee ownership. Even before the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, income and wealth inequality and downward economic mobility for frontline workers were truths so obvious that one could visually observe them in most communities. Now, more than ever, we need solutions that create economic resiliency for workers and local economies.
To our members and the wider cooperative community. We are thinking about you and strategizing about how best to support your businesses and people during the evolving situation. We know that at this point, many of us are receiving information from a multitude of sources, which can feel overwhelming. The USFWC is actively working to curate … Read More
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
This special section of The Sociological Quarterly, edited by Joyce Rothschild includes the following articles: The Logic of a Co-Operative Economy and Democracy 2.0: Recovering the Possibilities for Autonomy, Creativity, Solidarity and Common Purpose by Joyce Rothschild When Freedom is Not an Endless Meeting: A New Look at Efficiency in Consensus-Based Decision-Making by Darcy K. Leach “Plan … Read More
The opportunity to convert businesses to worker cooperatives is increasingly becoming recognized as a strategy for strengthening our local economies. The need—and opportunity—for lenders and other capital providers to participate in these sales transactions is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. But only a handful of lenders in the U.S. specialize in lending … Read More
The benefits of employee ownership as a strategy for achieving broad-based prosperity are well documented—but the growing field of impact investing has yet to fully recognize the key opportunity employee ownership presents for tackling economic inequality. In this Fifty by Fifty research brief, Mary Ann Beyster explores the existing landscape of employee ownership opportunities for … Read More
These class notes were written by John Pencavel of the Stanford University Department of Economics for a 2018 undergraduate class in Labor Economics. They were intended to provide the students with background on worker owned and worker managed firms. Students were expected to read these notes before Dr. Pencavel’s lecture.
The 2019 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector is a report on worker-owned business in the United States. This report, a co-production of Democracy at Work Institute and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, draws upon the latest developments in the field. It includes an updated map of metro areas home to concentrations of worker … Read More
In this short video, Dr. Daphne Berry describes why she teaches her students about worker cooperatives and participatory ESOPs.
Immigrants are increasingly forming worker cooperatives, and the recent Denver taxi driver union-cooperative is one of the largest taxi cooperatives in the country. Current research on the labor empowerment consequences of these emerging immigrant cooperatives is sparse.
The chapter reinforces the fundamental roles of information-sharing and participation in enterprises with shared ownership, while making key distinctions between shopfloor and office workers experiences and perceptions.
The closure of Fagor Electrodomésticos in October 2013, the most iconic cooperative in the Mondragon Group, not only cast doubt on the economic and social management of the cooperative itself but also called into question the very viability of the overall cooperative model.
With a growing prominence of sophisticated econometric research in a much-expanded field of New Economics of Participation (NEP), it is of particular value to learn about real-world examples of participatory and labor-managed firms in the advanced market economies through extensive case studies. In this volume of Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms, … Read More
Two major shifts in contemporary work organizations—“employee participation” and “diversity management”—have typically been studied in isolation from one another. Building on theoretical work by Acker (2006a,b), we ask how the interaction of these two constructs has affected the pursuit of workplace democracy at two worker cooperatives in Northern California. Using qualitative methods, we find that … Read More
Work organizations are commonly studied as sites that produce and reproduce inequality. But we know much less about how organizations promote equality. This article examines efforts to broaden access to power, opportunity, and resources in Hotel Bauen, a worker-recuperated business that was converted from a privately-owned company into a worker-run cooperative. Drawing on extensive ethnographic … Read More
Decades of feminist scholarship documents the persistence of gender inequality in work organizations. Yet few studies explicitly examine gender inequality in collectivist organizations like worker cooperatives. This article draws on the “theory of gendered organizations” to consider how gender operates in a worker-recovered cooperative in contemporary Argentina. Based on ethnographic and archival research in Hotel … Read More
In 2009, United Steelworkers (USW) and Mondragon signed an agreement to promote union co-ops: firms that combine democratic worker ownership and union membership. Eleven U.S. initiatives now seek to implement the USW-Mondragon union co-op model, prompting a debate about whether unions and worker cooperatives are stronger together. This article draws on a case study of … Read More
The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services.
This film tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. The film highlights examples including Mondragon in the Basque Country in Spain and the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as smaller businesses including coffee shops and bakeries.
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
The origins of the next radical economy is rooted in a tradition that has empowered people for centuries and is now making a comeback. A new feudalism is on the rise. While monopolistic corporations feed their spoils to the rich, more and more of us are expected to live gig to gig. But, as Nathan … 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