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Organizing sustainable democratic firms: processes of regeneration as the design of new models of cooperation

  • Sébastien Gand

    ()

    (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)

  • Mathias Béjean

    (Université Paris-Est - Université Paris-Est)

Registered author(s):

    In a period of economic and legitimacy crises for firms, there is a current appeal on alternative firms to the conventional capitalist and hierarchical one, especially ones with a democratic form such as cooperatives. But for a long time the "degeneration" pattern of democratic firms, namely their economic failure or the abandonment of democratic functioning, has been pointed out. Even if such a deterministic rationale has been contested, the main difficulty for democratic firms remains their capacity to overcome degeneration crises. This paper investigates this question through the case of a 400-member democratic professional service firm, studied during three years with an intervention research method. It shows how such a firm designed organizational outcomes to a twofold crisis of performance and governance. It contributes to a better understanding of the conditions of sustainability of democratic firms by emphasizing the possibility of designing new models of cooperation, which integrate various constraints and do not compromise between antagonist logics within the firm.

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    File URL: http://hal-ensmp.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/88/17/21/PDF/SGMB_SustainableDemocraticFirms_EURAM13soumis.pdf
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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00881721.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Publication status: Published - Presented, 13th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management, EURAM 2013, 2013, Istanbul, Turkey
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00881721
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal-ensmp.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00881721
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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    1. Bruce E. Kaufman, 2000. "The Early Institutionalists on Industrial Democracy and Union Democracy," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 21(2), pages 189-209, April.
    2. Roger Spear, 2004. "Governance in Democratic Member-Based Organisations," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(1), pages 33-60, 03.
    3. Walther Müller-Jentsch & Nicholas Levis, 1995. "Industriai Democracy: From Representative Codetermination to Direct Participation," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 25(3), pages 50-60, October.
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