IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/trn/csnjrn/v2i2p34-47.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Worker Cooperatives: Good, Sustainable Jobs in the Community

Author

Listed:
  • Virginie Pérotin

    () (Leeds University Business School)

Abstract

Worker cooperatives are the least well-known part of the cooperative movement. Part of the reason is that the idea of a business run by its employees sounds unrealistic to many people. Yet there are thousands of worker cooperatives and related businesses around the world, including some very large firms. In the last two decades, the availability of extensive new data on worker cooperatives and other firms in several countries has made it possible to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the incidence and patterns of behaviour of worker cooperatives. The picture of worker cooperatives that is emerging from the research findings based on these data suggest that worker cooperatives are more “normal” firms than is often believed. For example, they can be found in a wide range of industries and seem to be larger, on average, than other firms. Importantly, this body of international research also sheds new light on issues that have been at the heart of the research debate on labour-managed firms, such as the objectives pursued by the firms and their capacity for growth. The paper examines the implications of the key international research findings of the last two decades for our understanding of why worker cooperatives are created, the objectives pursued by founding and subsequent members and the spill-over effects of their performance for the communities in which the firms are found. The paper argues that worker cooperatives, by providing institutions in which employees control most aspects of their job and firm strategy (including pay and employment trade-offs) internalise a number of externalities to the conventional operation of firms. They provide good, stable jobs in which employees’ potential and creativity can flourish. In addition to promoting economic democracy, worker cooperatives offer sustainable and local employment and are likely to have a number of positive effects on their communities’ economies, public finances and health.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginie Pérotin, 2013. "Worker Cooperatives: Good, Sustainable Jobs in the Community," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 2(2), pages 34-47, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:csnjrn:v:2:i:2:p:34-47
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.jeodonline.com/sites/jeodonline.com/files/articles/2014/05/20/perotinultimo.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fakhfakh F. & Perotin V. & Gago M., 2009. "Productivity, Capital and Labor in Labor-Managed and Conventional Firms," Working Papers ERMES 0910, ERMES, University Paris 2.
    2. Saul Estrin & Derek C. Jones, 1992. "The Viability of Employee-Owned Firms: Evidence from France," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(2), pages 323-338, January.
    3. Burdín, Gabriel & Dean, Andrés, 2012. "Revisiting the objectives of worker-managed firms: An empirical assessment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 158-171.
    4. Timothy J. Classen & Richard A. Dunn, 2012. "The effect of job loss and unemployment duration on suicide risk in the United States: a new look using mass‐layoffs and unemployment duration," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 338-350, March.
    5. Craig, Ben & Pencavel, John, 1992. "The Behavior of Worker Cooperatives: The Plywood Companies of the Pacific Northwest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1083-1105, December.
    6. John Pencavel & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2006. "Wages, Employment, and Capital in Capitalist and Worker-Owned Firms," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 23-44, October.
    7. Burdín, Gabriel & Dean, Andrés, 2009. "New evidence on wages and employment in worker cooperatives compared with capitalist firms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 517-533, December.
    8. Jesús CLEMENTE & Millán DIAZ-FONCEA & Carmen MARCUELLO & Marcos SANSO-NAVARRO, 2012. "The Wage Gap Between Cooperative And Capitalist Firms: Evidence From Spain," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 83(3), pages 337-356, September.
    9. Arando, Saioa & Gago, Monica & Podivinsky, Jan M. & Stewart, Geoff, 2012. "Do labour-managed firms benefit from agglomeration?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 193-200.
    10. Cecilia Navarra, 2013. "How do worker cooperatives stabilize employment? The role of profit reinvestment into locked assets," Working Papers 1307, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    11. Ben-Ner, Avner, 1988. "Comparative empirical observations on worker-owned and capitalist firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-31, March.
    12. Freeman, Richard B, 1976. "Individual Mobility and Union Voice in the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 361-368, May.
    13. Craig Ben & Pencavel John, 1993. "The Objectives of Worker Cooperatives," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 288-308, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ignacio Bretos Fernández & Jon Morandeira Arca, 2016. "La economía social ante la actual crisis económica en la comunidad autónoma del País Vasco
      [Social economy and economic crisis in the basque country]
      ," REVESCO: Revista de estudios cooperativos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Escuela de Estudios Cooperativos, issue 122, pages 07-33.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Worker cooperatives; Mutuals; Employee ownership; Job preservation; Community health;

    JEL classification:

    • P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trn:csnjrn:v:2:i:2:p:34-47. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Barbara Franchini). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/euricit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.