United States

Sustainable Economic Democracy: Worker Cooperatives for the 21st Century

Author(s): 
Nicholas Luviene, Amy Stitely, Lorlene Hoyt
Year: 
2010
This guide explores the worker cooperative network as a neighborhood, municipal and regional strategy for generating wealth. It presents two examples: the well-established Mondragon Complex in Spain and the nascent Evergreen Cooperative Initiative in Cleveland Ohio. Drawing from these two cases the authors then put forth a general framework for building a scalable cooperative network in post-industrial American cities.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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