Worker-recuperated enterprises have appeared in Europe with increasing frequency since 2008, following the Great Recession that hit the western economies. The purpose of this paper is to depict the phenomenon of worker-recuperated enterprises in Italy, focusing on two different types of business recovery, that of workers buyouts and that of recovered social spaces. The paper compares these on the basis of four analytical dimensions: resilience/resistance, relationship with the market, relationship with the territory and workplace democracy.
The corpus of the research is based on the cross-sectional analysis of workers’ narratives. These were collected, within a small sample of theoretically relevant cases, in order to retrace and analyse the path from the crisis of the former companies to establishment of the workers’ cooperatives and their social and economic features.
The collected narratives allowed for a multi-level comparison between different types of worker-recuperated enterprises, providing some insights on their emergence, their features in terms of resilience and resistance, their relationship with the market economy and their outcomes in terms of workplace democracy and support to employment.
Worker buyouts are gaining ground in Europe as an effective mechanism to oppose the fall of the employment rate in consequence of economic crises. This research intends to offer some data and arguments to the current international debate on the effectiveness of these mechanisms in coping with economic shocks and opening up to a sustainable and cooperative work-driven economy.
Antonazzo, L. (2019), "Narratives of cooperation, resilience and resistance: workers’ self-recovery in times of crisis", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 9/10, pp. 851-864. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-04-2019-0064Download as .RIS
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