Writing in the Guardian, Professor Jonathan Michie, director of Birmingham Business School, examines the impact of employee share ownership and argues that in the UK at least, most existing employee share ownership schemes are neither large enough nor structured enough to give employees a real voice.
But employee ownership – exemplified by the John Lewis Partnership - may offer significantly greater benefits.
The growth of the employee-owned business sector, along with the companies that have substantial employee share ownership schemes, is creating a biodiversity of business models that adds value to the economy. There used to be a view that the lesson for business from biology was "survival of the fittest". The real lesson from biology is that the enormous diversity that has characterised human societies is a strength - which applies equally to institutional arrangements.