Topic outline

  • Introduction to Democratic Enterprise

    Welcome to the companion virtual learning environment (VLE) for Democratic Enterprise: Ethical business for the 21st century. This VLE contains supporting resources for users of the book.

    For instructors:

    • Seminar exercises
    • Instructor’s manual containing notes on learning outcomes, key arguments, further reading, and useful resources
    • Sample lecture slides

    For students:

    • Additional case studies
    • Recommended journal articles
    • Key reports
    • Links to relevant websites
  • Democratic Enterprise: Ethical business for the 21st century

  • The ethical alternative: co-operative values and principles

    This topic introduces the co-operative model of enterprise by explaining the internationally recognised values and principles that underpin it. These values and principles are integral to the identity of co-operatives and provide them with an inherent advantage over other forms of business organisation.

  • More than just profit: the co-operative business model

    This topic explains the co-operative business model in terms of its unique ownership, governance, and beneficiary structure. It then shows how co-operatives use their distinctive characteristics to operate within the market and compares them with other models of enterprise.

  • ...of the people, by the people, for the people: co-operative governance

    This topic introduces some of the key aspects to effective governance of co-operative enterprises. Co-operatives are member-owned and for this reason they need a system of governance that places members at the core of the business. Generation of a healthy surplus is crucial to co-operative governance because without economic viability there is nothing for the members to own or control.

  • Co-operative societies in society: classifications and incorporation

    This topics explains the three principal ways of classifying co-operatives: the area-based method, the membership-based method, and the group-served method. It then discusses the legal structures and regulation within which co-operatives in Britain operate.

  • Democracy in the workplace I: worker co-operatives

    This topic begins a two-part analysis of employee-owned enterprises by looking at worker co-operatives. Considered to be one of the purest forms of employee ownership, the worker co-operative model places ownership, control, and beneficiary rights in the hands of workers.

  • Democracy in the workplace II: employee ownership

    This topic shows that the spectrum of employee ownership is broad and there are key distinctions between various models within that spectrum.

  • An acceptable face of capitalism?: arguments for and against employee ownership

    This topic explores the arguments for and against employee ownership at both theoretical and practical levels.

  • The rise and fall of industrial democracy: employee ownership and the business cycle

    This topic examines aspects of the employee ownership lifecycle, particularly what happens at the formation and decline phases. There are various theories relating to supposed weaknesses of employee-owned firms and these will be assessed with reference to empirical evidence.

  • Democratic enterprise: the invisible giant?

    This topic begins with an overview of global and national statistics relating to co-operatives and employee-owned businesses. It then considers the social, political, and economic environment in which these enterprises currently operate, and analyses the factors that promote or inhibit the growth of this sector. The topic concludes by outlining a ‘roadmap’ for the future development of the democratic enterprise movement.

  • Additional resources

    This section contains sources of information on democratic enterprises that are not specific to any particular topic but are relevant to the overall theme of the resource.