Abstract and Keywords
The chapter examines the implications of the key international research findings of the last two decades for our understanding of why worker co-operatives are created, the objectives pursued by founding and subsequent members and the spill-over effects of their performance for the communities in which the firms are found. The chapter argues that worker co-operatives, by providing institutions in which employees control most aspects of their job and firm strategy (including pay and employment trade-offs) internalise a number of externalities to the conventional operation of firms. They provide good, stable jobs in which employees’ potential and creativity can flourish. In addition to promoting economic democracy, worker co-operatives offer sustainable and local employment and are likely to have a number of positive effects on their communities’ economies, public finances and health.
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