Resource Library

The Democracy at Work Institute is building a comprehensive Resource Library that will include a wide range of materials, including academic papers, start-up toolkits, curriculum samples, actual documents from existing worker cooperatives, and more. The topic list below provides a map of the resources that will be available. We are also continuing to publish additional resources on a daily basis.

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Recently Added Resources

Industrial districts and inter-firm co-operation in Italy

F. Pyke, 0. Becattini and W. Sengenberger
Whilst economies all over the world in the late 1970s and 1980s set into recession and stagnation, frequently accompanied by serious deteriorations in labour and social conditions, rising unemployment, and insecurity, a few localities stood out as exhibiting a remarkable resilience and even growth. They were engaged in a variety of industries, and included not only advanced sectors but also more traditional, labour-intensive ones, and thereby posed a challenge to those who have argued that such economic activities can no longer succeed in high wage industrialised countries. Thus,

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

Maureen Conway, Amy Blair, Steven L. Dawson, Linda Dworak-Munoz
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.

Employee-Ownership Briefing Paper 1.3

Ownership Associates, Inc.
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.

The Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives:Exploring the Potential of Co-op Led Development

Erbin Crowell
[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.