The purpose of this research was to investigate how Mid South Building Supply, a 100% employee-owned company, survived the Great Recession. Research has found that employee-owned companies are more likely to survive recessions than other companies. Why this happens was unclear. Thus, this research was conducted to learn why this might happen.
The case study approach was chosen to uncover the causes because this approach has played a significant role in uncovering organizational phenomena. Moreover, the industry was chosen because of the vulnerability of firms in it to recessionary forces.
Mid South uses practices that enhance both financial and psychological ownership. Prior research has suggested that both are important.
Case study research is limited because only a single frim is investigated. Thus, additional studies need to be performed to confirm the results.
Although this is a single case study, the practical implication is that enterprises that want to improve their probability of surviving should apply the findings of this study.
Firms that provide employment stability to employees are more likely to survive. In turn, research would suggest that this is associated with greater family and community stability.
Whereas prior studies have used across-industry data to find that employee-owned firms are more likely to survive recessions than others, what such firms do differently was unclear. A literature review failed to reveal a prior study that looked at the internal practices that may cause this to happen.
Street, M.D., Street, V.L., Calo, T.J. and Shipper, F. (2018), "Mid South Building and Supply: Surviving the Great Recession", Berry, D. and Kato, T. (Ed.) Employee Ownership and Employee Involvement at Work: Case Studies (Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 77-104. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0885-333920180000018002
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