Open Systems: Applying Diverse Employee Ownership Theories to Address Today’s Complex Challenges
Proceedings of Beyster Fellowship Symposium on Employee Ownership, November 2011
32 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2011
Date Written: June 26, 2011
Our economy is struggling to find not merely the path that will lead it up from the bottom of the latest business cycle, but a new way forward to restore widespread prosperity that is broadly shared in an economic environment that features an unprecedented level of global competition. Improving conditions require an understanding of complex systems and a thoughtful analysis of the influence of the interactions of many factors. Ownership is one of the key factors. And, as the work presented at the symposium makes clear, needed innovation is not limited merely to innovation in products or production — not constrained only to better information technology or bio-technology — but expanded to innovation in ownership, organizational design, governance, and capital formation. The search for solutions raises complex, interrelated questions concerning the role of employees both in their companies (issues of motivation, participation, innovation, and productivity) and in the economy (issues of personal access to capital, opportunities for wealth and income generation, and a shared stake in prosperity). What, then, will emerge as the new means for accumulating and supplying capital, for organizing and managing people in business enterprises, and for sharing the resulting wealth and income in ways that meet societal needs? In the face of this daunting challenge, it is encouraging to see the considerable diversity in the research being conducted on the impact of broad-based employee ownership on this question.
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