Academic Paper

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.

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.

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.

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.

Building Resilient Sustainable Economies via the Cooperative Sector and Flexible Specialization: Lessons from the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy

Author(s): 
Joe Rinehart
Year: 
2009
This paper discusses the potential for economic networks to aid in the creation of resilient and sustainable economies, and the social, economic and governmental supports necessary to create those networks. Specifically the cooperative and cooperative networks of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy are examined as well as the system of flexible specialization in production and Industrial Districts that also in exist in that region, along with the support of the La Lega cooperative network, the local culture and regional and national governments.

The Communist Party in The Land of Cooperation

Author(s): 
Matt Hancock
Year: 
2005
From 1945, until its transformation into the Left wing Democrats in 1989, the Italian Communist Party (PCI) effectively, and uninterruptedly, governed Emilia-Romagna. The Communists in Emilia were master's at building political hegemony. Their leadership style was relatively open and democratic. Local governments under the PCI became known around the world both for their efficiency and efficacy. In addition, the bold and creative economic policies of the PCI have been the object of study throughout the world.

The Cooperative District of Imola: Forging the High Road to Globalization

Author(s): 
Matt Hancock
Year: 
2005
This paper represents a sort of “progress report” with respect to my field research on the cooperative district of Imola. Imola is an extremely unique social and economic “experiment” in democratic, alternative development. Home to some of Italy's oldest cooperatives – and probably the first worker-buyout as well – Imola is literally a town that has cooperation in its DNA.

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