I have discovered (through an endnote in Erdal, 2011) a great resource in the US National Centre for Employee Ownership, which describes itself as “a nonprofit membership and research organization that was founded in 1981 to provide most objective and reliable information possible on employee ownership at the most affordable price possible.”
The NCEO also does a nice line in infographics:
Infographic by National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) from The Economic Power of Employee Ownership
If you’re wondering what an ESOP is, there’s a snazzy infographic for that, too, which explains about Employee Share Ownership Plan legislation in the US:
Infographic by National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) from What Is an ESOP?
In case you think this might be a minority thing in the US, over the pond it is understood as ‘shared capitalism’, and has a wide reach:
Infographic by National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) from ESOPs in the U.S.
While employee ownership does not necessitate identification as a co-operative, it is an element of co-operative identity. ESOPs do not have to have a majority share in company ownership, but many do, and there are considerable numbers at 100% ownership.
Central to the ESOP concept is the idea that a well-run firm will pay for itself over the long lerm, and so a loan can be used to purchase a company, rather than workers requiring access to capital (perhaps through a redundancy payout and savings) at a time of crisis. This framework makes an orderly transition towards employee ownership possible, and is something that bears wider attention. It has especial relevance to the HE sector, where institutions are normally fairly stable and long-lived organizations, and hence offer a sound bet for long-term loan financing.