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Pritchett Controls: ten years into employee ownership

Richard C. Hoffman (Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, Department of Management and Marketing, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)
Wayne H. Decker (Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, Department of Management and Marketing, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)
Frank Shipper (Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)

The CASE Journal

ISSN: 1544-9106

Publication date: 8 May 2018

Abstract

Synopsis

This case illustrates the rationale for adopting employee ownership, and difficulties in implementing employee empowerment beyond investment. In the beginning it focuses on why Jerry Pritchett, one of the co-founders of Pritchett Controls, decided to convert it to an employee-owned company. In the body of the case, it details the efforts of the company to operate under its new ownership structure in an increasingly competitive environment. Although Pritchett established employee owners, only selected High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) practices have been implemented. The issue that reader must grapple with is whether other HPWS practices should be adopted or not.

Research methodology

Primary data were collected by interviewing eight managers including the current and former CEO at two of the firm’s three locations. Secondary data were used to supplement industry and competitive information.

Relevant courses and levels

Human resources courses, especially those that focus on strategic human resource management, organizational development, and how high performance organizations can be built, would be most appropriate for this case.

Theoretical bases

The primary theoretical foundations for this submission are shared entrepreneurship and HPWS. Knowledge of leadership, employee ownership, human resources, corporate governance, organizational culture and strategy would also be helpful in analyzing this case.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names, financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.

Citation

Hoffman, R.C., Decker, W.H. and Shipper, F. (2018), "Pritchett Controls: ten years into employee ownership", The CASE Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 305-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/TCJ-05-2017-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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