Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, unable to address pressing problems such as climate change. There is, however, another path–cooperation democracy. From consumer co-ops to credit unions, worker cooperatives to insurance mutuals, nonprofits to mutual aid, countless examples prove that people working together can extend the ideals of participatory democracy and sustainability into … Read More
For too long, cooperatives have been considered marginal players in the global economy, and as unrealistic venues for the aspirations of new and experienced members of the labour force. This marginalization shows in business, municipal and legal discussions, and curricula, where cooperative structures are rarely mentioned, let alone presented as viable options. Cooperatives at Work … Read More
This Kent State University course is motivated by the broad question: what role can workplace democracy and employee ownership play in creating an economy that works for all? Workplace democracy and employee ownership take a multitude of forms and are receiving renewed attention from public officials, the business community, social movement leaders, and academics. Nearly … 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
An urgent and deeply resonant case for the power of workplace democracy to restore balance between economy and society. What happens to a society—and a planet—when capitalism outgrows democracy? The tensions between democracy and capitalism are longstanding, and they have been laid bare by the social effects of COVID-19. The narrative of “essential workers” has … Read More
This two day seminar will examine a new form of Inclusive Capitalism founded on a broader distribution of capital acquisition and fuller employment. This two-day virtual event brought together professors of economics and other disciplines from numerous universities to discuss the creation of a teaching and research agenda centered around Inclusive Capitalism.
Employee ownership is a big, bold idea, a market tested concept that is capable of transforming the American economy and rebuilding the American dream. This white paper includes policy proposals for turning more workers into owners.
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
At the center of the ongoing debate about the causes and cures of inequality in America today is the vast difference in wealth between owners and workers. As many have noted, that gap was not nearly as large in the middle of the twentieth century as it has become in the first two decades of the 21st century, where owners and other executives make many multiples of what workers make – largely through grants of stock in lieu of salary.
From Ted Howard, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, and Marjorie Kelly, author of The Divine Right of Capital and Owning our Future, The Making of a Democratic Economy is a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system. Illuminating the principles of a democratic economy through the stories of on-the-ground community wealth builders and … Read More
The mainstream economic theory that guides corporations in the US only works if markets are perfectly efficient. This flawed theory has led to corporate decision-making that centers shareholders above all else, including other stakeholders (e.g., workers), long-term business growth, and economic health. This shareholder-first ideology is referred to as “shareholder primacy,” which does not reflect … Read More
The Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice–In 1985, Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) members initiated and mobilized bipartisan support for Congressional legislation which established the Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice under President Ronald Reagan. Project Economic Justice, which was first conceived in a strategy paper authored by CESJ, offered a revolutionary economic alternative to military solutions to regional conflicts in Central America and the Caribbean. Enacted as part of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985, this legislation created the first presidential task force to be totally funded with private donations and supported by both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. Former Ambassador to the Organization of American States and the European Community, The Hon. J. William Middendorf II, served as Chairman. CESJ’s president, Norman G. Kurland, served as deputy chairman.
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
Do firms with employee ownership (EO) programs exhibit greater employment stability in the face of economic downturns? In particular, are firms with EO programs less likely to lay off workers during negative shocks? In this article, we examine the relationship between EO programs and employment stability in the United States using longitudinal Form 5500‐CompuStat matched … Read More
The employee benefits of employee ownership are not fully studied. This case contributes to understanding how employee ownership may reduce gender and racial wealth gaps, build family well-being, and become a model for structuring opportunity for those traditionally left out of the economic mainstream.
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
When Workers Become Owners Professors Joseph Blasi, Richard Freeman, and Douglas Kruse explain how sharing the ownership or profits of a company with workers can improve productivity, pay, and work life quality – all while reducing economic inequality. Bonus – Jump on the Bandwagon Professors Blasi, Freeman, and Kruse stay post-interview to discuss why trade unions, business schools, and … Read More
This paper by Jared Bernstein shows that employee ownership appears to have a small equalizing impact on wealth and wage distributions.
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 Economics of Cooperative Enterprises is designed as a challenging integrative experience course for undergraduates. Students will be asked to retrospectively analyze their experiences as workers and consumers, evaluating the impact of organizational forms and industry structure. How do cooperative enterprises (including those on campus such as the People’s Market, Earthfoods, and Campus Design and … Read More
Even the rich are admitting that inequality is bad for business…
In Collective Courage, Jessica Gordon Nembhard chronicles African American cooperative business ownership and its place in the movements for Black civil rights and economic equality. Not since W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1907 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans has there been a full-length, nationwide study of African American cooperatives. Collective Courage extends that story into the twenty-first century. Many of … 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
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.
How could the managing director maintain the firm’s cooperative structure, address the nutritional needs of all Indians, make use of emerging technology, and navigate the country’s dairy policies in the coming years?