This paper contradicts the widely held belief that the distinctive features of worker cooperatives (participatory management and broadly shared profit) place them at a competitive disadvantage in a market economy. It also provides insight into why cooperatives are rare by challenging explanations based in presumed inefficiencies and focusing attention instead on barriers to creation.
Thanks go to Doug Kruse, Christopher Gunn, Virginie Pérotin, Al Campbell, and Robin Hahnel for insightful comments on drafts of this paper or helpful conversations about these issues. The paper has been greatly improved by their input. Any remaining errors are attributable to the author alone. This work was supported by the Joseph Cabral Distinguished Scholar and Fellow award from the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.
Olsen, E.K. (2013), "The Relative Survival of Worker Cooperatives and Barriers to Their Creation", Sharing Ownership, Profits, and Decision-Making in the 21st Century (Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 83-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0885-3339(2013)0000014005Download as .RIS
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