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A Better Way of Doing Business?Lessons from The John Lewis Partnership$
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Graeme Salaman and John Storey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198782827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198782827.001.0001

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Lessons from Employee-owned Businesses

Lessons from Employee-owned Businesses

Chapter:
(p.50) 3 Lessons from Employee-owned Businesses
Source:
A Better Way of Doing Business?
Author(s):

Graeme Salaman

John Storeym

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198782827.003.0003

The JLP is a member of a category of businesses that are not owned by shareholders, either individual or collective, but by some combination of employees, customers, or suppliers through a variety of legal arrangements. These organizations, in a variety of forms, have attracted considerable academic attention some of which is a potential source of insight into the JLP. This chapter summarizes and evaluates this literature with a view to synthesising what insights it offers the book’s analysis of the JLP. One theme, commonly noted by observers and insiders, is worthy of attention for it emerges as a potential feature of the development of the JLP: the ‘degradation’ thesis that mutuality and commercial success are in opposition and so over time either mutuality survives but at the expense of performance or performance improves at the expense of mutuality. This book offers an alternative possibility.

Keywords:   employee-owned businesses, mutual, degradation thesis, history of cooperatives, key issues

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