United States

The Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives:Exploring the Potential of Co-op Led Development

Author(s): 
Erbin Crowell
Year: 
2010
[Excerpt] Toward the end of my time with Equal Exchange, I came into contact with members of the co-ops that make up the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops (VAWC). I was impressed by the tradition of collective management among these co-ops and the manner in which they had come together to begin developing a network of mutual support in their region. The number and diversity of the enterprises represented in the network was very different from my experience of worker co-ops as isolated enterprises.

United States Federation of Worker Co-operatives

Author(s): 
Aaron Dawson, Ann Favreau and Sandra Gorman
Year: 
2009
We will be using the US Federation of Worker Co-operatives (USFWC) as the example to examine the larger question of “authority versus liberty”; of which authority can be defined as a federation where co-operatives are members of a larger organization and therefore limiting individuals control over certain aspects and decisions; and of which liberty can be defined as the autonomy of individual co-operatives and their members to control their fate.

Beyond the Boss: Building the U.S. Worker Cooperative Movement in the Context of Global Capitalism

Author(s): 
David Ciplet
Year: 
2007
This paper asks the question “What are the key elements to building an effective United States-based worker cooperative movement in the context of global capitalism?” Data was collected by reviewing literature in the field, interviewing 24 worker cooperative movement activists, attending a Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) meeting, reading posts on the NoBAWC list-serve and talking with worker cooperative movement activists at social and job related events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Firm Foundations for Democracy? Worker Ownership and Control in Advanced Capitalism

Author(s): 
Sanjay Pinto
Year: 
2013
To what extent do workers exert control within the workplace, and exercise voice in how the income generated by firms is distributed? And do they have ownership—not just in an affective sense, but in terms of share holdings or membership rights? The financial crisis opened up widespread discussion about prevailing modes of economic organization. But, for the most part, this discussion has been quite narrowly bounded, oscillating between two familiar poles. This paper tries to contribute to such a conversation by offering a macro-comparative backdrop.

The Relative Survival of Worker Cooperatives and Barriers to Their Creation

Author(s): 
Erik Olsen
Year: 
2013
This paper argues the conjecture that worker cooperatives (WCs) are rare because of competitive disadvantages relative to conventionally-owned firms (CFs) is not supported by existing research. It surveys research on the survival and failure of WCs and CFs and estimates the nonparametric hazard and survival functions for CFs in the US. Because the rarity of WCs cannot be attributed to performance it must result from a low formation rate.

Self-Direction and Employee Ownership: Working Paper

Author(s): 
Ownership Associates, Inc.
Year: 
1998
The initial draft of this paper was written in response to a request for research on the relationship between self-direction in the workplace, employee ownership, and organizational outcomes. It outlines three aspects of shared decision-making: autonomy, participation, and influence. It then explores the relationship between two of those aspects (autonomy and participation) and a series of productivity-related cultural norms, including ownership identity.

Co-operatives as spaces of cultural resistance and transformation in alienated consumer society

Author(s): 
Robert Dobrohoczki
Year: 
2013
The co-operative movement has always had uneasy relationship with Marxist philosophy and tradition that concentrated on state ownership. Yet co-operatives are socially owned and operated organizations that operate, theoretically at least, on a non-profit basis, driven by member needs and not capital. For instance, worker co-operatives would not accumulate the “surplus labour” in Marx’s labour theory of value, leaving them immune to accusations of exploitation and worker alienation.

The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth: A Case Study of University Hospitals Vision 2020 Program Cleveland, Ohio

Author(s): 
Farzana Serang, J. Phillip Thompson, Ted Howard
Year: 
2013
This case study discusses a pathbreaking strategy in Cleveland, Ohio, that addressed the economic challenges facing the city by generating local wealth, economic opportunity, and jobs. The strategy involved the expansion of the University Hospitals, an important anchor institution. The study is based on in-depth interviews with key stakeholders.

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