Democratic Management: A Practical Guide for Managers and Others

Rebecca Bauen
Affiliated Organization: 
Democracy at Work Institute

Democratic Management: A Practical Guide for Managers and Others  is a best-of collection of democratic practices used by worker cooperative managers and taught by some of the leading consultants to democratic companies. The guide has been created to fill the void of materials available that take readers beyond the start-up or transition phase of democratic business operation to what actually needs to be done to ensure workplace democracy takes hold.  The guide is organized as a framework covering power, information, people, and money. Within each of these sections are tools, descriptions of activities, and stories from cooperatives to inspire and help you put ideas into action.

Who's this guide for? It was created by The School for Democratic Management at DAWI to support:

  • managers of conventional companies that have recently transitioned to a worker-owned cooperative
  • managers and workers of start-ups
  • managers and workers at seasoned worker cooperatives
  • managers and workers at democratic ESOPs
  • any company that wants to learn how to increase or improve its democratic practices. 

Management is hard work. Democratic management is perhaps even harder.  But the rewards are worth it, and this Guide is here to help.  In it, we share practical activities, assessment tools, planning ‘checkpoints,' and meeting instructions to improve your workplace. 

This is not a complete set of management practices; instead, it is a curated set of tools to help you put more democratic practices in place, no matter where you are on your journey. 


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Resource Format: 
1 Start 2 Complete
Resource Language: 
Staff Pick: 
Curated Tools: 
Resources for Start-Ups
Resources for Existing Worker Coops
Resources for Conversions
Resources for Coop Developers