Worker Co-ops: Success and failures

On Economic Update, you've been talking about work co-ops a lot using the Mondragon Corp. in Spain as an example. I'm really interested in investigating this subject as a possible way to start a company in my California military industrial complex town which is choked by outside contractors, lack of change, innovation and culture, and Wal Mart. I've heard that Mondragon has been having problems this year, and I was hoping you could address this on EU. My guess is that they went back on co-op principles and tried to fit into the regular capitalist mold. Maybe not. I like to study failures first so that I know possible weak points and how to fix them. Secondly, I asked a friend who is a business psychologist and older leftist what he knew about work co-ops, and he mentioned the ideas of Scanlon. He said he knew of a worker owned factory using his ideas that didn't survive. Yet we have Evergreen and Mondragon that have. I'd like to hear your take on what happened to the places that failed versus the ones that survive. Do the ones that fail simply get greedy, or is it more complicated than that like a lot of things are? -Chris


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  • published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-08-05 18:31:22 -0400

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