Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What
Winner of the William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte Book Prize from the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing
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.
Praise for Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What
“Required reading for anyone seeking a practical way to make capitalism work for the many, not the few.”
—Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor
“This book is the canary in the coal mine for American capitalism—a warning that the system risks expiring because of its increasingly skewed benefits. Rosen and Case offer a compelling and practical path to a better form of capitalism through employee ownership—and not just for workers but for all Americans.”
—Roger L. Martin, author, strategy advisor, and former Dean, Rotman School of Management
“We have seen incredible success in our own business after becoming employee owned. This book shows how companies focused on long-term growth strategies with an employee-centric culture will create a better world.”
—Ashleigh Walters, President, Onex
“A brilliant, eminently readable work with powerful arguments, great stories, and sharp ideas on reforming capitalism.”
—Joseph R. Blasi, Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University
“For forty years, employee ownership has helped us create one of America’s most successful companies. Rosen and Case guided us through those years. Now this book can help you—and the economy—get there too.”
—Jack Stack, CEO, SRC Holdings Corporation
“I love this book. It puts on the table the critical issue of ownership—oddly missing from dialogue on building a fairer economy. It’s an accessible, fun read, worth every minute.”
—Marjorie Kelly, Distinguished Senior Fellow, The Democracy Collaborative
“This book provides . . . a lightbulb moment for the future of capitalism.”
—Graeme Nuttall, OBE, Partner, Fieldfisher