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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Economic manuals and the policy debate are generally permeated by the assumption that there is an archetypical form of enterprise: the private limited company, often viewed as a public company. Instead, enterprise forms differing from the archetype are viewed as anomalous, possibly the result of unstable constructions waiting to evolve into public companies. However, reality tells us that entrepreneurial pluralism is the norm rather than the exception, and that those non-archetype enterprises do not disappear, and often thrive. Furthermore, progress in the theories of industrial organization, corporate governance, stakeholder inclusion, and the common goods all seem to suggest that entrepreneurial pluralism may be welfare enhancing. Against this background, we draw on the literature with the purpose of shedding light on the potential causes and effects of entrepreneurial pluralism. Specifically, we focus on mutual producer/consumer associations, social enterprises, co-operative enterprises, and family firms.

Keywords: private limited company, public company, entrepreneurial pluralism, co-operative enterprises, family firms

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