- Performance of Labour-Managed Firms | The Economic Journal | Oxford Academic
- Signed vs. Inscribed
- Economic Democracy: The Cooperative Alternative
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Performance of Labour-Managed Firms | The Economic Journal | Oxford Academic
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The paper is not in the journal. Go Back HomePage. DOI: Kazuhiro Ohnishi. ABSTRACT This paper considers a two-period mixed market model in which a state-owned firm and a labor-managed firm are allowed to hold inventories as a strategic device. The paper then shows that the equilibrium in the second period occurs at the Stackelberg point where the state-owned firm is the leader. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare no conflicts of interest. Cite this paper K. Cooperatives are a more equity-based approach to working with peer communities, than for-profit institutions, and therefore may be preferable as a format for the marketization of the exchange value that is derived from the P2P-commons".
This result is supported by a variety of methodological approaches, using diverse data and for disparate time periods. Moreover, participation is most conducive to enhancing productivity when combined with profit sharing, guaranteed long-range employment, relatively narrow wage differentials , and guaranteed worker rights such as protection from dismissal except for just cause - precisely the conditions that will prevail under Economic Democracy.
As to the viability of complete workplace democracy, we note that workers in the plywood cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest have been electing their managers since the s, workers in the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain since the s. There are some twenty thousand producer-cooperatives in Italy, comprising one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy. The Swedish cooperative movement is also large and impressive.
Needless to say, not all self-management ventures are successful, but I know of no empirical study that even purports to demonstrate that worker-elected managers are less competent than their capitalist counterparts. Most comparisons suggest the opposite; most find worker self-managed firms more productive than similarly situated capitalist firms.
For Berman, on the plywood cooperatives, states:. Studies comparing square-foot output have repeatedly shown higher physical volume of output per hour, and others…show higher quality of product and also economy of material use. It make little difference whether the Mondragon group is compared with the largest companies, or with small- or medium-scale industries; in both comparison the Mondragon group is more productive and more profitable.
There is also the example of Weirton Steel.
Signed vs. Inscribed
In , following a mediocre year and facing bleaker prospects, National Steel offered to sell its Weirton, West Virginia plant to its 7, workers. The deal was completed in Kevin Carson's fifteenth draft chapter of Organization Theory goes into a detailed comparison of the productivity of cooperatives vs. It shows, how the meta-system is skewed against the cooperative format, despite their higher productivity.
But to put it in less value-laden terms, that simply means that cooperatives economize on capital at the expense of labor efficiency. Capitalist enterprises, on the other hand, do just the opposite: they pursue a strategy of capital substitution in order to maximize labor efficiency, reduce labor costs, and minimize agency problems associated with labor--even when it means relying on the relatively wasteful use of large capital and energy inputs. What's happened in the United States is that we have displaced those ways of producing goods which are efficient in using energy, efficient in using capital, and inefficient in using labor with the reverse, and the upshot is that we tend to waste energy, to run out of capital, and to run out of jobs.
What's the difference between the two approaches? The difference is that we are conditioned to see the maximization of utility by owners of capital as the normal purpose of economic activity, but to dismiss maximization of utility by labor as "malingering. Barry Stein, as we have already seen, argues that incremental improvements in the production process, cumulatively, have more of an effect on productivity than do generational changes in production machinery.
Jaroslav Vanek makes the distinction between major and minor innovations.
Economic Democracy: The Cooperative Alternative
This article seems to me to support that conclusion with an in depth analysis using appropriate and practical criterion, very valuable and informative addition to the literature. My own view, based solely on my experience in working with a variety of traditional business structures large and small in the U. For Example, 1. A totally apolitical, nonpartisan, non discriminatory approach must be taken.
This will require some updated terminology. Any proposed venture needs to be demonstrably economically viable on its own merits as outlined in a realistic business plan. Details of member qualification and ownership and the decision making process must be specifically explained since such concepts may well be initially viewed by some as foreign, impractical and therefore unworkable and even dangerous.
Provision of currently unavailable, affordable. The Mission Statement, By Laws and Business Plan of the organization should be well integrated and address all economic and social input groups e. In any event I firmly believe Cooperative structures are a key to solving many of our societal and economic challenges. I have emphasized a high degre of community focus that clearly is not in and of itself a Cooperative requirement, just an added benefit. Chris Clarke commented I was born in the Lancashire mill town of Rochdale, where the first Cooperative was established in the 19th Century.
It was founded to free the millworkers from the company store and to allow them to share in the success of the enterprise.
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It grew to be a giant organisation with production, wholesale, farming and even financial and funeral services. Today, its remnants wallow in the shadow of capitalist competitors. It should have spread to take over the world. That did not happen, because management and control was focused on those with the right ideology rather than commercial skills.
The business was donated to a trust by its founder. The trust is run on behalf of current employees, partners. It is not perfect, but it has fought off, succeeded and grown against giants like Walmart Tesco and Sainsbury.
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