Handbook of Economic Organization
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Handbook of Economic Organization

Integrating Economic and Organization Theory

Edited by Anna Grandori

This comprehensive and groundbreaking Handbook integrates economic and organization theories to help elucidate the design and evolution of economic organization. Economic organization is regarded both as a subject of inquiry and as an emerging disciplinary field in its own right, integrating insights from economics, organization theory, strategy and management, economic sociology and congnitive psychology. The contributors, who share this integrated approach, are distinguished scholars at the productive peak in their fields. Each original, state-of-the art chapter not only addresses foundational issues, but also identifies key issues for future research.
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Chapter 24: Worker cooperatives and democratic governance

John Pencavel


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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