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Employee Ownership, Employee Attitudes, and Firm Performance

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  • Douglas Kruse
  • Joseph Blasi

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Kruse & Joseph Blasi, 1995. "Employee Ownership, Employee Attitudes, and Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 5277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5277
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    5. James A. Brickley & Kathleen T. Hevert, 1991. "Direct Employee Stock Ownership: An Empirical Investigation," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 20(2), Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaonian Xu & Yan Wang, 1997. "Ownership structure, corporate governance, and corporate performance : the case of Chinese stock companies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1794, The World Bank.
    2. repec:wfo:wstudy:47247 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Peter Cramton & Hamid Mehran & Joseph Tracy, 2010. "Bargaining with a Shared Interest: The Impact of Employee Stock Ownership Plans on Labor Disputes," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpesop, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised Jun 2010.
    4. Peter Cramton & Hamid Mehran & Joseph Tracy, 2008. "ESOP fables: the impact of employee stock ownership plans on labor disputes," Staff Reports 347, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Kim, Younjun, 2011. "Business Ownership by Workers: Are Worker Cooperatives a Viable Option?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 34575, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Bryson, Alex & Freeman, Richard B., 2007. "Doing the right thing? does fair share capitalism improve workplace performance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4964, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Karl Aiginger & Kurt Kratena & Margit Schratzenstaller & Teresa Weiss, 2014. "Moving towards a new growth model," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 3, WWWforEurope.
    8. Gunther Tichy, 2015. "Protecting social inclusion and mobility in a low growth scenario," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 100, WWWforEurope.
    9. Brian L. Connelly & Robert E. Hoskisson & Laszlo Tihanyi & S. Trevis Certo, 2010. "Ownership as a Form of Corporate Governance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s2), pages 1561-1589, December.
    10. Claessens, Stijn & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2013. "Corporate governance in emerging markets: A survey," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-33.

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