TAKING STOCK: Employee Ownership at Work by Michael; Joseph Blasi & Coney Rosen Quarrey

TAKING STOCK: Employee Ownership at Work

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A limited and inconclusive audit of 15 enterprises in which employees hold significant equity stakes. The three authors are associated with the National Center for Empl oyee Ownership. By no coincidence, then, their text, which draws on a broader survey conducted by NCEO for the National Institute of Mental Health, tends to accentuate the positive aspects of employee ownership in general and ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) in particular. Following a sketchy introductory chapter that, among other deficiencies, fails to make clear the key role tax breaks have played in the emergence of employee ownership programs, the authors go directly to their 15 case studies, four of which involve worker collectives or cooperatives. Their choices range from a couple of large publicly held corporations (Lowe's Companies, Western Airlines) through a Bay State frame maker, a Midwestern magazine printer, a Minneapolis bike shop, a Virginia plywood distributor, and a garment-sewing co-op based in North Carolina. In a wishy-washy epilogue, the authors outline without really addressing issues like the role of unions, which are vital to tire future of employee ownership. There's also an appendix with a serviceable bibliography and a listing of resources (which emits such NCEO rivals as the Employee Benefit Research Institute and The ESOP Association). In brief, then, upbeat anecdotal evidence that's narrowly focused and far from definitive.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Ballinger