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
In this inside look at worker cooperatives, Joan Meyers challenges long-held views and beliefs. From the outside, worker cooperatives all seem to offer alternatives to bad jobs and unequal treatment by giving workers democratic control and equitable ownership of their workplaces. Some contend, however, that such egalitarianism and self-management come at the cost of efficiency … Read More
This free video-based educational program is designed to help minority business owners learn about employee ownership strategies for business succession planning. Developed by the Rutgers University NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership, with the support of the Kellogg Foundation, this program will help business owners assess the relevance of establishing one of two employee ownership models, based … Read More
Worker cooperative practitioners and developers often claim that democratic worker ownership advances egalitarianism within and beyond the workplace, but most of the empirical evidence in the U.S. is based on ethnographic case studies or small-scale surveys. We leverage the first national survey about individuals’ experiences in these unique firms to ask if claims that co-ops … Read More
This free online course from Start.coop is for entrepreneurs building cooperatively owned businesses. Modules include: Lean Co-op: The Basics Defining the Problem Designing the Solution Designing Your Business Model Designing Your Ownership Model Next Steps
The Worker-Owner Workbook can help teams develop cooperative businesses and worker-ownership culture. The book teaches the nuts and bolts of running a co-op business, from business financials to conflict management to team building. It also contains essential information about the co-op movement, labor movement, and the Mondragon cooperative network of Spain. The Worker-Owner Workbook is … Read More
This primer focuses on one set of tools the labor movement can utilize to build power, expand wealth, and deepen member engagement in the years ahead: worker ownership. It explores: How Unions and Worker Ownership Work Together How Worker Ownership Can Build Power for Workers The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Overcoming Challenges Looking … Read More
The United States business sector is dominated by small businesses that create new jobs at a rate considered faster than that of their larger competitors. Remarkably, military veterans own nearly 13 percent of small businesses. However, only eight percent of all veteran-owned firms are minority owned. The low percentage of minority-owned veteran businesses is perplexing … Read More
In Co-operative Struggles, Denise Kasparian expands the theoretical horizons regarding labour unrest by proposing new categories to make visible and conceptualize conflicts in the new worker co-operativism of the 21st century. After the depletion of neoliberal reforms at the dawn of the 21st century in Argentina, co-operativism gained momentum, mainly due to the recuperation of … 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
Job quality has received increased attention from academics and policy makers across industrialized countries. Yet, there has been limited assessment of how job quality is impacted by different organizational forms, including cooperatives and employee-owned businesses (EOBs). Although there has been growing interest in how cooperatives/EOBs impact on employee outcomes, comprehensive assessments of the range and … Read More
Labor unions and worker-owned businesses share the objectives of generating better jobs and giving workers control over their workplaces. The scaling of worker ownership paired with unionization offers pathways to expanded worker power and wealth-building for working people. The purpose of this paper is to show strategies used by labor unions to support the creation … Read More
Isthmus Engineering is an example of a highly democratic worker-owned firm operating in an industrial sector that one might not think of as fertile ground for participatory democratic governance—the design and manufacture of highly technical custom automation machinery. From the beginning, membership in the cooperative has been open to any worker, regardless of role or … Read More
In Croatia in 2005, a machine tools factory was occupied by its workers. Since then, they have operated collectively, becoming the only successful example of a worker occupation in post-socialist Europe. Today, as they seek a new model of collective ownership, the world of the factory clashes with the forces of the globalized market economy, … 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.
The redesigned Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership (CLEO), the online library dedicated to employee share ownership, features more than 600 resources—including company case studies, links to scholarly research articles, informative videos, and policy reports. This webinar introduces this free online library and highlights resources of interest to business owners who are considering employee ownership. Research … Read More
Even before the pandemic, many workers struggled to build wealth. Divisions between men and women, and between white households and households of color, are particularly striking. The pandemic has exacerbated and heightened awareness of these inequities, and there is a mounting sense of urgency to find practical solutions. Increasing participation in business ownership can help … Read More
This paper presents findings from a national survey of 1,147 workers in worker cooperatives and follow up interviews with 15 participants conducted in 2017.
This volume explores an expansive array of organizational imaginaries, or conceptions of organizational possibilities, with a focus on collectivist-democratic organizations that operate in capitalist markets but place more authority and ownership in the hands of stakeholders other than shareholders. These include worker and consumer cooperatives and other enterprises that, to varying degrees: Emphasize social values … Read More
Becoming Employee Owned is an initiative of the Democracy at Work Institute, a movement-based think-and-do tank supporting worker cooperatives to grow to a scale that creates meaningful change in the economy. The website includes resources for small businesses and company profiles.
This booklet helps business owners evaluate employee ownership. Thousands of business owners have decided that employee ownership is the best way to preserve the job security of their workforces and protect the character of their companies while providing them and their families fair value. In “Who Should Own Your Business After You?,” several of them … Read More
This short book presents reflections from Father José María Arizmendiarrieta, the founder of the Mondragon worker-cooperative conglomerate in the Basque country of Spain. His reflections contain economic insights. But these aphorisms and fragments reveal that his central motivation was spiritual—not to the exclusion of the practical, but with the recognition that plutocratic capitalism, also, is … Read More
This interactive course introduces the seven cooperative principles: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; member economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community.
This report describes the role cooperatives can play in building healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities, and explains how to advance that work through federal, state, and local policy. The policy objectives presented are intended not to simply grow the field of cooperatives, but to enhance the work of cooperatives that address economic and racial disparities … Read More
In this workshop, “Research and Teaching about Equity Compensation, Employee Share Ownership and Profit Sharing in Organizations,” expert professors describe a variety of different ways they teach about employee ownership and equity compensation in their university courses–and the resources, videos, and case studies that they use. This workshop features Daphne Berry, Joseph Blasi, and Ed … Read More