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Evolution and Organisational Choice in Nineteenth-Century Britain


  • Everett, Michael J
  • Minkler, Alanson P


This paper offers an explanation for the dearth of labor-managed firms in western economies. It argues that the historical evolution of labor-managed firms put them at a disadvantage relative to their classical, capitalist counterparts. In Britain, the government played an instrumental role in creating the initial disadvantage. Specifically, it took too long for the British government to remove the legal burden of unlimited liability and other company laws that were especially costly of labor-managed firms. Early financial instruments were also ill-suited to the establishment and continuation of producers' cooperatives of the day. Since organizational forms and their supporting institutions must coevolve, a path dependent process has continued to impede the development of labor-managed firms. (c) 1993 Academic Press, Inc. Copyright 1993 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Everett, Michael J & Minkler, Alanson P, 1993. "Evolution and Organisational Choice in Nineteenth-Century Britain," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 51-62, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:17:y:1993:i:1:p:51-62

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    Cited by:

    1. Doucouliagos, Chris, 1996. "Conformity, replication of design and business niches," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, July.
    2. Cayer, Mario & Minkler, Lanse, 1998. "Dualism, dialogue and organizations: Reflections on organizational transformation and labor-managed firms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 53-77.
    3. Silvia Sacchetti, 2015. "Inclusive and Exclusive Social Preferences: A Deweyan Framework to Explain Governance Heterogeneity," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 473-485, February.

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