IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Employee versus conventionally-owned and controlled firms: an experimental analysis


  • Norman Frohlich

    (The Faculty of Management, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)

  • John Godard

    (The Faculty of Management, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)

  • Joe A. Oppenheimer

    (Department of Government and Politics and Center for Collective Choice, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA)

  • Frederick A. Starke

    (The Faculty of Management, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)


Full employee ownership, under which employees enjoy dominant ownership and control rights, is an innovation which alters the relationship between employees and the organization in which they work. Although it has been hypothesized to have a number of positive implications, it has suffered from poor diffusion and survival rates overall, and selection biases have limited the generalizability of field research. We have therefore attempted to develop experimental methods to test hypotheses about the effects of employee ownership on selected economic, social, and psychological outcomes. In our experiments, subjects in employee-owned firms exhibited higher productivity, perceived greater fairness in the pay they received and the method used to pay them, reported higher levels of involvement in their tasks, had more positive evaluations of their supervisors, and showed a greater propensity to interact with and provide assistance to their co-workers than did those in employee-owned firms. Four areas where further research is needed are identified; these will refine our understanding of employee ownership and the conditions under which it will operate as hypothesized. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Norman Frohlich & John Godard & Joe A. Oppenheimer & Frederick A. Starke, 1998. "Employee versus conventionally-owned and controlled firms: an experimental analysis," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 311-326.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:19:y:1998:i:4-5:p:311-326 DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1468(199806/08)19:4/5<311::AID-MDE893>3.0.CO;2-I

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cason, Timothy N, 1995. "An Experimental Investigation of the Seller Incentives in the EPA's Emission Trading Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 905-922, September.
    2. Cason Timothy N., 1993. "Seller Incentive Properties of EPA's Emission Trading Auction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 177-195, September.
    3. Stuart Mestelman & Rob Moir & Andrew Muller, 1998. "A Laboratory Test of Canadian Proposals for an Emission Trading Program," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-03, McMaster University.
    4. Ledyard, John O. & Szakaly-Moore, Kristin, 1994. "Designing organizations for trading pollution rights," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 167-196, October.
    5. Cason, Timothy N. & Plott, Charles R., 1996. "EPA's New Emissions Trading Mechanism: A Laboratory Evaluation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 133-160, March.
    6. Plott, Charles R, 1983. "Externalities and Corrective Policies in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369), pages 106-127, March.
    7. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
    8. Jamie Brown-Kruse & Steven R Elliot & Rob Godby, 1995. "Strategic Manipulation of Pollution Permit Markets: An Experimental Approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-03, McMaster University.
    9. R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman, 1994. "Emission Trading with Shares and Coupons: A Laboratory Experiment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 185-211.
    10. Godby, Robert W. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew & Welland, J. Douglas, 1997. "Emissions Trading with Shares and Coupons when Control over Discharges Is Uncertain," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 359-381, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Grosse & Louis Putterman & Bettina Rockenbach, 2007. "Monitoring In Teams: A Model and Experiment on the Central Monitor Hypothesis," Working Papers 2007-4, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi & Richard B. Freeman, 2012. "Does Linking Worker Pay to Firm Performance Help the Best Firms Do Even Better?," NBER Working Papers 17745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Marina Albanese & Cecilia Navarra & Ermanno Tortia, 2017. "Equilibrium unemployment as a worker insurance device: Worker insurance and wage setting in worker owned enterprises," DEM Working Papers 2017/09, Department of Economics and Management.
    4. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert & Hwang, Sung-Ha, 2009. "Strong reciprocity and team production: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 221-232, August.
    5. albanese, marina & navarra, cecilia & Tortia, Ermanno, 2017. "EQUILIBRIUM UNEMPLOYMENT AS A WORKER INSURANCE DEVICE. Wage setting in worker owned enterprises," MPRA Paper 77031, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:wly:mgtdec:v:19:y:1998:i:4-5:p:311-326. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.