Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What

  • 4h 13m
  • Corey Rosen, John Case
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2022

Employee ownership creates stronger companies, helps workers build wealth, and fosters a fairer, more stable society. In this book, two leading experts show how it works-and how it can be greatly expanded.

Wages don't cover the bills. Wealth inequality is growing. Social trust is eroding. There are endless debates about what to do, but one key factor is inexplicably left out: who owns the companies that drive the economy?

Ownership matters. Ownership by a few means benefits for a few. But if you spread ownership around, you spread the benefits of capitalism around. Employee ownership lets workers build real wealth, not just pick up a paycheck. And it's a piece of the puzzle that's in plain sight. As Corey Rosen and John Case point out, there are already thousands of prosperous employee-owned companies.

Rosen and Case explain why so many companies end up being owned by Wall Street shareholders or private equity firms-and why that kind of ownership encourages a focus on short-term profits rather than the long-term sustainability needed by employees, communities, and the environment. They show the limits of reform efforts that don't address the essential issue of who owns what.

But the heart of the book is a deep dive into how employee ownership originated, how it works now, and what needs to be done to expand it. The book looks at how the idea is growing, both in the United States and around the world-and why all sides of the political spectrum support it.

Rosen and Case offer a vivid portrait of a form of ownership that results in more prosperous workers, more responsible companies, and a fairer, more stable society.

About the Author

Corey Rosen, PhD, is the founder and senior staff member of the National Center for Employee Ownership. He is a coauthor, along with John Case and Martin Staubus, of Equity: Why Employee Ownership Is Good for Business. He writes frequently on employee ownership and serves on several ESOP company boards.

John Case is a veteran observer and analyst of the business world and a nationally known writer on business and economics. He is an author or coauthor of six books and a collaborator on many others, including the international bestseller Financial Intelligence.

In this Book

  • Preface
  • Introduction—Ownership Matters
  • The Ownership Crazy Quilt
  • Wall Street—Faceless Ownership
  • Private Equity—Concentrated Ownership
  • The Limits of (Conventional) Reform
  • Ownership in Today’s Economy
  • A Different Kind of Company
  • Why Isn’t There More Employee Ownership?
  • Opportunity #1—Employee Ownership on Wall Street
  • Opportunity #2—Private Equity and Impact Investing
  • Opportunity #3—Trusts, Co-ops, and the Gig Economy
  • Opportunity #4—Policies and Programs for Spreading Employee Ownership
  • Tomorrow the World
  • Conclusion—How You Can Make a Difference
  • Afterword—By Michael Quarrey, Vice President, Web Industries
  • Discussion Guide
  • Notes