Integrating Economic and Organization Theory
Edited by Anna Grandori
Chapter 24: Worker cooperatives and democratic governance
Research on the economics of worker-owned cooperatives once took two forms. One form was highly abstract and offered theoretical models that claimed to characterize certain aspects of the behavior of co-ops. The second form described the experiences of a particular co-op and offered at most anecdotal evidence of co-op behavior. The last two decades has seen a flowering of a new class of empirical research exploiting information over time on a number of individual co-ops and on comparable conventional capitalist enterprises. These studies allow for the determination of key empirical differences between the two types of organizations: co-ops and capitalist firms. This chapter explains and evaluates this new literature.
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