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ULMA Architectural Solutions: A Case from the Mondragon Cooperative Group

Employee Ownership and Employee Involvement at Work: Case Studies

ISBN: 978-1-78714-520-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-519-1

Publication date: 8 May 2018


To examine perceptions of organizational atmosphere and joint ownership in a firm in which capital ownership is broadly shared among members of its work force.

A questionnaire was administered with a sample of 123 people from a Mondragon cooperative firm, ULMA Architectural Solutions, and responses were analyzed using principal components’ analysis and regression techniques.

Two factors are found to play especially important roles in explaining perceptions: (1) work and management/supervisory practices, especially those relating to communication and participation in decisions in respondents’ immediate work area, and (2) job type (blue collar vs. white collar).

The study confirms earlier research on the broad centrality of participation and related practices to perceptions of work and the organization in employee ownership settings, while findings focus on the immediate work environment and relationships with immediate managers for blue-collar workers.

These are closely related to the research implications, underlining the importance to worker-owners, in manufacturing contexts, of communication and involvement in decisions in their immediate work environment.

Widespread concerns about inequality, poor working conditions, and competitiveness suggest the importance of investigating enterprises with broadly shared capital ownership, enterprises that tend to address these concerns.

The chapter reinforces the fundamental roles of information-sharing and participation in enterprises with shared ownership, while making key distinctions between shopfloor and office workers experiences and perceptions.




The authors gratefully acknowledge the support for this research provided by the “Promoting enterprises committed to people and the region” program (2015–2016) of the Department of Economic Development and the Rural Environment, Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa. We are also grateful to the senior management, governing council and general membership of UAS for facilitating the research and commenting on the questionnaire results, as well as to Maite Legarra for valuable assistance in preparing the survey instrument. Any errors are, of course, the authors’ responsibility.


Uzuriaga, A.A., Freundlich, F. and Gago, M. (2018), "ULMA Architectural Solutions: A Case from the Mondragon Cooperative Group", 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. 37-75.



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