Foundation for Enterprise Development
Beyster Symposium Conference
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. How do varying national institutional systems promote differing roles for workers vis-à-vis the ownership and control structures of firms? What are the limits to this range of variation? How can we draw upon this existing variety of institutional practice in thinking about the way forward, and in what ways might we need to turn our sights in new directions?