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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1984

Leonard F.S. Wang and David Bowles

This article examines the behaviour of a labourmanaged firm operating in a world in which the output price is uncertain, but it varies betwen a price floor and a price…

Abstract

This article examines the behaviour of a labourmanaged firm operating in a world in which the output price is uncertain, but it varies betwen a price floor and a price ceiling. We show that risk aversion is sufficient to give the direct relationship between a change in uncertainty and the optimal level of output for the labourmanaged firm, which is weaker than the decreasing absolute risk aversion assumption imposed by Hawawini and Michel (1979), Hey and Suckling (1980), Hey (1981a) and Paroush and Kahana (1980).

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1983

R.G.B. Fyffe

This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of…

Abstract

This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of industrial and economic democracy, which centres around the establishment of a new sector of employee‐controlled enterprises, is presented. The proposal would retain the mix‐ed economy, but transform it into a much better “mixture”, with increased employee‐power in all sectors. While there is much of enduring value in our liberal western way of life, gross inequalities of wealth and power persist in our society.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 3 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1983

Frank H. Stephen

Five years ago in a review of Jaroslav Vanek's The LabourManaged Economy published in this journal, the present writer ventured, inter alia, two general observations on…

Abstract

Five years ago in a review of Jaroslav Vanek's The LabourManaged Economy published in this journal, the present writer ventured, inter alia, two general observations on the economics literature of the labourmanaged firm. First, “Vanek has contributed more words and analysis on this subject than the rest of the economics profession put together”. Secondly, “In spite of the increasing concern shown by the ‘men of deeds’ with participation, income sharing and producers' cooperatives over the last ten years the majority of the ‘men of words’ who have offered any advice have been of the sociological species… This reviewer is optimistic enough to hope that this is not because economists have nothing to contribute”. A review of three new books on the subject provides a timely opportunity to reassess these observations.

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Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

John Bonin

This essay is a tribute to Jaroslav Vanek who spent 32 years at Cornell University where he founded the Program on Participation and Labor-Managed Systems (PPLMS) in 1970…

Abstract

Purpose

This essay is a tribute to Jaroslav Vanek who spent 32 years at Cornell University where he founded the Program on Participation and Labor-Managed Systems (PPLMS) in 1970, which became the home for economic research on these issues in the US. It is a brief intellectual history of a multi-dimensional scholar.

Design/methodology/approach

Vanek's seminal work in the American Economic Review in 1969 marked the culmination of a decade of work on labor management inspired by his brother Jan's work on Yugoslavia, considered then to be a worker-managed economic system. In two rapidly following tomes, Vanek laid out the landscape for the development of a new subfield in economics by providing precursors to many of the results to follow. In that previous decade, Vanek produced papers in traditional economic theory, e.g. international trade and economic growth.

Findings

Vanek's mindset persists in the interplay between the emerging theory of labor-managed firms and traditional economic literature that takes seriously the role of organizational form. This essay develops that cross-pollination and seeks to identify the remaining questions and issues for future work that the economics profession owes to Jaroslav Vanek.

Originality/value

Connection of strands of literature in the economic theory with the literature on labor-managed firms and worker-managed economies tracing the evolution of the latter to the work of Jaroslav Vanek.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 3 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

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Book part
Publication date: 9 December 2013

Anthony Jensen

This article describes the practical and theoretical implications relating to the labor managed firm (LMF), which has been formed from an insolvent company purchased by…

Abstract

Purpose

This article describes the practical and theoretical implications relating to the labor managed firm (LMF), which has been formed from an insolvent company purchased by its workers. The research focuses on an international comparison and the cultural context of six LMFs – two each in the United States, Spain, and Italy where legislation supports worker buyouts from insolvency. Adopting a critical theoretical approach it draws on the scholarship of industrial relations and human resource management, grounded in a historical analysis to predict when a transformative or integrative LMF will be formed.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking a case study methodology to enable an in-depth understanding of the firms internal processes and relationships the use of semi-structured interviews of blue- and white-collar workers (with the use of a translator) and the administration of a structured questionnaire are used to gather and triangulate qualitative and quantitative data. The research limitations relate to the small number of respondents in each firm, which prevented more rigorous analysis, and calls for further research with larger numbers of respondents.

Findings

The results reveal that at macro level the theoretical model predicts that the LMF will have a propensity to emerge when there are market failures, when there is support from the state and the labor movement. The type of LMF was found to depend on the national context of industrial relations. At the micro level a core set of practices were found to work together to lead to high member commitment and positive behavioral outcomes.

Social implications

The research has important social implications by informing public policy aimed at redressing the injustice to employees when a business fails and jobs and entitlements are lost.

Originality/value

The article advances an understanding of the theoretical nature of the LMF.

Details

Sharing Ownership, Profits, and Decision-Making in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-750-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1977

PETER J. LAW

There is now a considerable literature on the Illyrian firm (that is, the firm which is assumed to maximise income per worker), and it has been argued that the analysis…

Abstract

There is now a considerable literature on the Illyrian firm (that is, the firm which is assumed to maximise income per worker), and it has been argued that the analysis may have relevance for the labourmanaged or co‐operative enterprise. Significant contributions to this literature have been made by Domar (1966), Vanek (1970), Meade (1972, 1974) and others but the seminal paper is generally recognised to be that of Ward (1958).

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Ermanno C. Tortia

The literature on labor-managed firms identifies the source of under-capitalization in the Furubotn–Pejovich effect. Appropriable capital accounts can counteract the…

Abstract

The literature on labor-managed firms identifies the source of under-capitalization in the Furubotn–Pejovich effect. Appropriable capital accounts can counteract the horizon problem, but they engender little-examined problems connected with the distribution, reinvestment, and reimbursement of net surpluses. This paper proposes that the introduction of cooperative bonds would provide a better match between the horizons of members and their firms. However, bonds generate risks of their own due to capital variability, thus requiring the imposition of various constraints and the retention of appropriate levels of collective reserves. Finally, a hierarchy of liabilities is proposed to protect parties who undergo information disadvantages.

Details

Cooperative Firms in Global Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1389-1

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Derek C. Jones

The main aim of this paper is to provide an assessment of the intellectual impact of the work of Jaroslav Vanek in the related fields of participation and labor management…

Abstract

Purpose

The main aim of this paper is to provide an assessment of the intellectual impact of the work of Jaroslav Vanek in the related fields of participation and labor management (hereafter, PLM) and participation and employee ownership (hereafter, PEO).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used mixed methods including bibliometric analysis.

Findings

Vanek's work, particularly the General Theory of Labor-Managed Market Economies, (Vanek, 1970) is the building block for the modern scientific study of cooperatives and for helping to establish the fields of PLM and PEO. Vanek (1970) continues to be the highest cited publication each year that investigates the pure case of a labor-managed firm. Arguably his work has played a significant role is setting the stage for the development of adjacent fields in economics such as the new institutional economics. For an economist, his work has had an unusually strong impact on work outside of economics.

Originality/value

No similar assessment has been undertaken before.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 3 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2020

Gregory K. Dow

The purpose of this article is to summarize the relationship between the research of Jaroslav Vanek on labor-managed firms (LMFs) and the research of Gregory K. Dow on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to summarize the relationship between the research of Jaroslav Vanek on labor-managed firms (LMFs) and the research of Gregory K. Dow on the same topic.

Design/methodology/approach

The article reviews the research of Jaroslav Vanek in the 1970s and explains how this influenced the publications of Gregory K. Dow extending from the 1980s to the present. A particular focus involves Dow's book “The Labor-Managed Firm: Theoretical Foundations” published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. The methodology is to present an intellectual history in narrative form. The scope of the paper is the economic theory of the LMF.

Findings

The article finds that Dow's interest in LMFs was stimulated by Vanek's publications from the early 1970s. However, Dow's publications in the 1980s were motivated to a large degree by efforts to overcome the limitations of Vanek's theory of the LMF, a goal that shaped much of Dow's later research in the field.

Originality/value

The paper illuminates the strong intellectual influence Jaroslav Vanek exerted on the economic theory of the LMF. Readers who want information about the influences on Dow's work may also find it useful.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 3 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Derek C. Jones

The purpose of this paper is to discuss diverse matters concerning the field of Participation and Employee Ownership (PEO) coinciding with the launch of the JPEO.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss diverse matters concerning the field of Participation and Employee Ownership (PEO) coinciding with the launch of the JPEO.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used mixed methods including bibliometric analysis.

Findings

Significant gaps exist in our knowledge of the scope and nature of PEO. Citation counts illustrate both the changing composition of research within PEO and faster relative growth than terms used to describe related fields such as labor unions and trade unions. Based on manually collected citation data I identify the most highly cited studies within PEO. Few of these studies attain a “home-run” citation count. However, PEO scholars are cited 19 percent more than economists in top 30 schools and the median C5 (total citations for the author’s five most highly cited papers) is more than 260 percent of the median for economists in “top 30” institutions. There is also some weak evidence that the citation bias in economics against female scholars is not as marked in PEO as elsewhere. A qualitative assessment of PEO studies suggests markedly uneven progress in empirical work across types of PEO.

Originality/value

No similar review has been done before.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

Keywords

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