Category Archives: Research

Degeneration and Regeneration 2

Beginning with some of the earliest socialist theorists, many have argued that worker cooperatives cannot remain democratic in the long term. This is called the ‘degeneration thesis’ and according to this view, worker cooperatives are inherently unstable and will inevitably … Continue reading

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Deep-level Cooperation

Spencer Thompson from the University of Cambridge in the UK recently published a paper outlining a new theory of the firm, taking the worker-owned business as its starting point. It is a fascinating paper at a theoretical level, but in … Continue reading

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Cooperative Incubators in Brazil

I often wonder why there aren’t more business schools for socialist entrepreneurs? There are some (for example, see here and here), but they are not common, and that definitely limits the growth of the cooperative economy. Classic business-management programs are … Continue reading

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Degeneration and Regeneration

Like all businesses, cooperatives can fail. Cooperatives can go bankrupt, but they can fail in another way too. Over time, cooperatives can degenerate. Cooperatives are said to degenerate when, under economic pressure, they abandon their cooperative principles and start adopting capitalist … Continue reading

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Worker-owned Firms: Five Myths

I just read a wonderful review article entitled “Worker Cooperatives: Good, Sustainable Jobs in the Community.” It was authored by Virginie Pérotin from the Leeds University Business School and was published in the Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity. In this … Continue reading

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Credit unions

In order to have a growing and sustainable cooperative business ecology you need at least two things: first, you need a continuous stream of newly founded worker-owned firms entering the ecology, either through conversions or as startups; and second, you need a growing cooperatively-owned financial … Continue reading

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Scottish employee-owned firms outperform capitalist firms

Ross Brown at the University of St. Andrews and his colleagues recently published research demonstrating that Scottish employee-owned businesses outperform capitalist firms as measured both by growth in employee numbers and by growth in turnover. It is a small study – … Continue reading

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