United States

Equal Exchange: Doing Well by Doing Good

Author(s): 
Benita W. Harris, Frank Shipper, Karen P. Manz, Charles C. Manz
Year: 
2012
EE embarked on its pioneering efforts to sell Fair Trade products in the United States with coffee from Nicaragua. From the beginning, EE paid the producers an above market price for their products out of a desire to help provide a better, more stable income and to more equitably distribute the proceeds of the final sales. The producers are typically small farmers indigenous to their region. On each product the company slogan -- “Small Farmers, Big Change” -- is prominently displayed.

Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives

Author(s): 
Steven Deller, Ann Hoyt, Brent Hueth, Reka Sundaram-Stukel
Year: 
2009
The cooperative ownership model is used in a wide variety of contexts in the United States, ranging from the production and distribution of energy to delivery of home health care services for the elderly. Although cooperative businesses have been responsible for many market innovations and corrections of market imperfections, little is known about their impact as an economic sector. Until this project, no comprehensive set of national-level statistics had been compiled about U.S. cooperative businesses, their importance to the U.S.

Concept Paper: Asset Building through Cooperative Business Ownership: Defining and Measuring Cooperative Economic Wealth

Author(s): 
Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Year: 
2008
Many cooperative studies scholars and co-op practitioners believe that successful cooperative businesses create wealth and help their members accumulate wealth and/or assets. Individual asset building or wealth accumulation is assumed to be an outcome from cooperative ownership, in addition to individual and community benefits such as job creation, education and training, income generation, affordable quality products, social capital development, and economic stability.

Employee-Ownership Briefing Paper 1.3

Author(s): 
Ownership Associates, Inc.
Year: 
2003
In the 28 years since Congress established Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), over 10,000 U.S. companies have adopted and maintained ESOPs—dozens of studies have evaluated the effects of ESOP on company performance. After reviewing the research literature, Dr. Douglas Kruse concluded: “25 years of research shows that employee ownership often leads to higher-performing workplaces and better compensation and work lives for employees.” Study 1 (below) indicates that this “ownership effect” averages 2 to 3% per year on a variety of measures.

Employee-Ownership Briefing Paper 7.2

Author(s): 
Ownership Associates, Inc.
Year: 
2003
One key rationale for the creation of ESOP law in 1974 was to share wealth with the workers who helped create wealth. Today, many companies use the wealth sharing aspect of their ESOPs as an effective retention and recruitment tool. But just how effective a means of distributing wealth are ESOPs? Two studies, one conducted in Washington State and one in Massachusetts, have looked at the wealth consequences of ESOPs.

Does Cooperation Equal Utopia?

Author(s): 
Anonymous
Year: 
2010
By means of qualitative analysis, this paper examines the organisational cultures underlying three worker cooperatives in the San Francisco Bay Area. 20 workers were interviewed and the transcripts were subsequently analysed along Edgar Schein's cultural framework. The findings show that overall the culture of these worker cooperatives is people-centred: the wellbeing of the workers comes first and the concern for making a profit comes only second.

Worker Owned Cooperatives and the Ecosystems that Support Them

Author(s): 
Rachael Tanner
Year: 
2013
By emphasizing wealth creation, communities can not only cultivate streams of income, but also build wealth. Through collectively owned and democratically governed assets, communities can build wealth. Economic development policy and practice should emphasize wealth creation. Employee ownership, through worker cooperatives is one way to build wealth. But worker cooperatives are rare in the United States; this is because there is not a supportive cooperative ecosystem.

Subjects of Scale / Spaces of Possibility: Producing Co-operative Space in Theory and Enterprise

Author(s): 
Janelle Terese Cornwell
Year: 
2011
This dissertation addresses key questions raised in Human Geography and Economic Geography concerning scale and the production of space, alternative economic geographies and co-operative economic development. It is the product of a five year ethnographic investigation with cooperative enterprises in Western Massachusetts and the broader Connecticut River Valley of Western New England.

Building a Platform for Economic Democracy: A Cooperative Development Strategy for the Bronx

Author(s): 
Nicholas Iuviene
Year: 
2013
Cooperative development efforts over the last 25 years have been largely inspired by, and modeled on, the Mondragon experience in the Basque region of Spain. None of these efforts has achieved nearly the success of Mondragon, which stabilized and dramatically developed a regional economy through the creation and growth of a diverse set of industrial worker and supportive secondary cooperatives. US efforts in cooperative development have typically replicated some aspects of the Mondragon model but ignored others.

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