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Employee Ownership, Employee Attitudes, and Firm Performance

  • Douglas Kruse
  • Joseph Blasi
Registered author(s):

    Employee ownership in U.S. companies has grown substantially in the past 20 years. This paper reviews and provides some meta-analyses on the accumulated evidence concerning the prevalence, causes, and effects of employee ownership, covering 25 studies of employee attitudes and behaviors, and 27 studies of productivity and profitability (with both cross-sectional and pre/post comparisons). Attitudinal and behavioral studies tend to find higher employee commitment among employee-owners but mixed results on satisfaction, motivation, and other measures. Perceived participation in decisions is not in itself automatically increased through employee ownership, but may interact positively with employee ownership in affecting attitudes. While few studies individually find clear links between employee ownership and firm performance, meta-analyses favor an overall positive association with performance for ESOPs and for several cooperative features. The dispersed results among attitudinal and performance studies indicate the importance of firm-level employee relations, human resource policies, and other circumstances.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5277.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5277.

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    Date of creation: Sep 1995
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    Publication status: published as Handbook of Resource Management, Mitchell, Daniel J.B., David Lewin and Mahumdad Zaidi, eds., Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1997, pp. 113-151.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5277
    Note: LS
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Gregg, P. A. & Machin, S. J., 1988. "Unions and the incidence of performance linked pay schemes in Britain," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 91-107, March.
    2. James A. Brickley & Kathleen T. Hevert, 1991. "Direct Employee Stock Ownership: An Empirical Investigation," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 20(2), Summer.
    3. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
    4. Chris Doucouliagos, 1995. "Worker Participation and Productivity in Labor-Managed and Participatory Capitalist Firms: A Meta-Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 58-77, October.
    5. Conte, Michael A. & Svejnar, Jan, 1988. "Productivity effects of worker participation in management, profit-sharing, worker ownership of assets and unionization in U.S. firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 139-151, March.
    6. 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 1083-105, December.
    7. Derek C. Jones & Jeffrey Pliskin, 1989. "Unionization and the Incidence of Performance-based Compensation in Canada," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_29, Levy Economics Institute.
    8. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Korenelius, 1987. "Cooperation, Productivity, and Profit Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 23-35, February.
    9. JONES, Derek C. & SVEJNAR, Jan, . "Participation, profit sharing, worker ownership and efficiency in Italian producer cooperatives," CORE Discussion Papers RP -681, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Derek C. Jones, 1987. "The productivity effects of worker directors and financial participation in the firm: The case of British Retail Cooperatives," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(1), pages 79-92, October.
    11. Bonin, John P & Jones, Derek C & Putterman, Louis, 1993. "Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Producer Cooperatives: Will Ever the Twain Meet?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1290-320, September.
    12. Rooney, Patrick Michael, 1992. "Employee ownership and worker participation : Effects on health and safety," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 323-328, July.
    13. Bell, Linda A & Neumark, David, 1993. "Lump-Sum Payments and Profit-Sharing Plans in the Union Sector of the United States Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 602-19, May.
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