Particularly interesting were two diagrams on co-operative governance structures: A representative structure; and a team/sector & hub structure.
The main points raised were:
- The UK worker co-operative sector places a much stronger emphasis on common ownership than on the Continent.
- Devolution of management responsibilities was more prevalent in individual and collective ownership, as opposed to common ownership co-operatives.
- Access to external finance was less problematic for organisation where individual members had made investments.
- Staff controlled organisations with a combination of individual/collective ownership grew faster than those based on common ownership principles.
It did however raise some interesting questions in my mind about the priorities and motivation in worker co-operatives, especially common ownership ones. If they are not investor led, would they priorities growth, (increase in the number of employees) over creating stable and well paid employment for their existing members?
If anyone knows of interesting areas of research into worker co-operatives, especially looking at their motivations and priorities and non-growth measures of success please send me info.