Why Aren't There More Worker Co-ops?

Editor's note: While this 2010 piece from The American Catholic misses the mark in many ways, it does contain a few solid critiques and considerations for worker co-operatives.  The author adopts many of the standard capitalist criticisms of worker ownership--criticisms we would do well, as cooperators, to formulate cogent responses to, both rhetorical and practical.

"[A] worker co-op in which employees differ significantly in skills, compensation, job responsibilities, background, and so forth are going to create a significant divergence of interests between different groups of workers, which can impede the overall functioning of the firm. These problems are heightened by the fact that, in a firm of any significant size, many management decisions are made not by the owners themselves but by their representatives. In any business, this creates a host of potential problems, as the incentives of those running the firm differ from those of the owners. In the case of a factionalized ownership, however, managers can more easily evade accountability from owners by pitting different groups of owners against each other."

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a worker co-op in which employees differ significantly in skills, compensation, job responsibilities, background, and so forth are going to create a significant divergence of interests between different groups of workers, which can impede the overall functioning of the firm. These problems are heightened by the fact that, in a firm of any significant size, many management decisions are made not by the owners themselves but by their representatives. In any business, this creates a host of potential problems, as the incentives of those running the firm differ from those of the owners. In the case of a factionalized ownership, however, managers can more easily evade accountability from owners by pitting different groups of owners against each other. - See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/05/10/why-arent-there-more-worker-co-ops/#sthash.ixoHmAw6.dpuf