Employee ownership in Britain

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW2.2.04 (Tower Two)
Andrew Pendleton, University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom; University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom
Andrew Robinson, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
The paper provides a comprehensive analysis of employee ownership in Britain drawing on data from a survey of all firms with substantial employee ownership in Britain in 2014-15.   The paper is concerned with the ownership and governance characteristics of employee-owned firms, and how these are the outcome of the interaction of interests and objectives of actors involved (or not involved) in the conversion process, set within the context of the conversion.  Four main groupings of employee owned firms are identified: those originating as a result of privatisation, business succession, start-ups, and human capital-rich firms wanting to share ownership to attract and retain human capital.  Ownership forms and governance characteristics are found to differ systematically between the four types, and this reflects the differing groups of actors involved in the conversion process.  Attention is drawn to the role of mimetic effects in shaping ownership and governance characteristics in each group.  Very few conversions arising from company distress are observed.