Inequality in the U.S. has been getting worse for decades: The richest 1% own a majority of all business wealth, and the top 10% own more than 90%. It has become clear that companies need to address the problem. One place to start is by expanding employees’ ownership stakes in companies, giving workers a path … 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.
Estimated Number of Plans and Employees; Value of Plan Assets.
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
This presentation discusses five myths surrounding employee ownership…
Developed in 1989, these slides are placed on CLEO for researchers to use to ascertain some of the perceived motivations behind the types of transactions that were being discussed and closed during this period of ESOP history when many of the big, union-oriented ESOPs were being formed.
Stakeholder capitalism seeks to benefit multiple stakeholders, rather than primarily shareholders. Two increasingly popular forms are the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and the benefit corporation. But what happens when a company combines these structures? While the benefit corporation’s expanded stakeholder mandate may appear to come at the expense of employee-owner wealth and the potential … Read More
Why a low-cost program to educate employees about company ownership could produce huge financial benefits for the country.
This handbook investigates ‘member-owned’ organizations, whether consumer co-operatives, agricultural and producer co-operatives, worker co-operatives, mutual building societies, friendly societies, credit unions, solidarity organizations, mutual insurance companies, or employee-owned companies. Such organizations can be owned by the consumers, producers, or employees—whether through single-stakeholder or multi-stakeholder ownership. ‘Employee-owned’ business means businesses where a significant proportion of the … 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
Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited (KTDAL) follows a unique model under which small tea farmers are shareholders. The KTDAL business model, which has made small farming viable, can be replicated to address some of the basic issues and challenges facing the developing world, which has millions of small farmers. However, the model has been facing tough challenges of late. Amidst this uncertainty, some farmers have called for abandoning KTDAL…
The Berrett-Koehler (BK) case highlights the efforts of a competitively successful, mission-driven, socially responsible publishing company to preserve its values, culture and practices while ensuring continued future success. The case provides an opportunity to cover corporate governance topics such as: ownership structures, shareholder relations, CEO and organizational succession planning, and board roles and responsibilities.
William H. (Bill) Carris set a deliberate purposeful course for the whole system change that he deeply desired for his employees. The Carris transformation, innovative in its own right, provides examples of change from being traditionally owned, managed and governed to having shared ownership, participatory management and shared governance by the whole…
In this issue, we close the loop on the triangular governance structure that supports ESOP companies and discuss the role of the ESOP itself as reflected in the duties and functions of the ESOP fiduciary (the trustee).
Many closely held company boards only meet in the virtual world of corporate counsel’s template minutes and perform their important functions without much more thought than what is required to make a signature. In ESOP-owned companies (or any structure that provides for broad ownership among employees of the company) the landscape changes, and the independent role of the board of directors as well as its oversight function become significantly more important.
Selling a business to an ESOP often requires significant changes to the company’s governance structure. If your board of directors has consisted solely of family members, or close friends, you may not welcome this change, but outside directors can help you run the business more judiciously and effectively…
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…
This book describes the full spectrum of equity compensation plans (such as stock options, stock purchase plans, stock grants, restricted stock, phantom stock, and stock appreciation rights) available to private and public companies as well as LLCs. Unlike most books on equity compensation, it focuses on helping decision-makers decide what kinds of equity to choose, and who should get how much and when.
While the U.S. manufacturing sector has shrunk over the past 30 years, the fully worker-owned Isthmus Engineering & Manufacturing (IEM) cooperative has thrived in the automated manufacturing industry.
I think the reason we are still undecided about the sustainability of the employee-ownership model is simply that there are still significant numbers of business leaders (and, more importantly, business advisors) for whom the idea that allowing employees to earn capital as well as salary and benefits just sounds wrong.
n-Link Founder Sandra Green explains that in the early days she wasn’t exactly certain what employee ownership entailed but knew intrinsically that it was a good thing for the company and the employees.
What do veteran ESOP companies have much to teach us about what it takes to sustain employee ownership over the long term?
This technical note explains how agricultural cooperatives are structured and financed, as well as how they form partnerships with one another and other elements of the food system.
Frieda Takaki took a deep breath, filling her senses. She was about to make a very difficult decision. She took off her shoes, placed them next to her desk and started pacing her office barefoot as she was thinking aloud. “I can’t let this business close down,” she whispered. “I have to do something about it.” The answer was now abundantly clear: why wouldn’t the employees buy the business from the owners?