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Firm Foundations for Democracy? Worker Ownership and Control in Advanced Capitalism

Sharing in the Company

ISBN: 978-1-78560-966-4, eISBN: 978-1-78560-965-7

Publication date: 6 June 2017


This chapter maps existing patterns of broad-based worker ownership and control in contemporary advanced capitalism and considers future possibilities for expanding democracy within firms. Section one discusses worker ownership and control arrangements in relation to different theories of the firm and shows how these arrangements map onto different national systems. Section two compares Germany, which is characterized by worker control without ownership, and the United States, which is marked by worker ownership without control. Section three explores three pathways through which broad-based worker ownership and control might be deepened and more strongly coupled in the future.




The author would like to thank Fred Block, David Ellerman, Richard Freeman, Erik Poutsma, and Trevor Young-Hyman for very helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. All remaining errors are his alone.


Pinto, S. (2017), "Firm Foundations for Democracy? Worker Ownership and Control in Advanced Capitalism", Sharing in the Company (Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 125-155.



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