United States

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.

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.

Sectoral Strategies for Low-Income Workers: Lessons from the Field

Author(s): 
Maureen Conway, Amy Blair, Steven L. Dawson, Linda Dworak-Munoz
Year: 
2007
This publication reviews examples of sectoral strategies particularly those that are meeting the needs of low-income workers who face daunting challenges in the labor market. It advances the notion that the dual customer approach to workforce development - one that meets the needs of both the worker and employer - is the optimal approach. It addresses the concept that sound sector strategies can enhance the opportunity for the poor to find employment, retain employment and increase income, and make the nation's businesses more globally competitive.

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