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Beyond the Corporation: Humanity Working Paperback – 3 Mar 2011
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"This is by far the best book to explain democratic employee ownership to business people and to the owners of family firms who might be considering a sale to the employees. David Erdal has "walked the walk" by arranging for the successful sale of his large family business to the employees so he speaks with a convincing authority on the matter. He masterfully spells out the arguments on economic, managerial, political, and social psychological grounds for democratic worker ownership. This combination of real world experience and interdisciplinary understanding of the issues makes this the book on democratic employee ownership." (David Ellerman)
"This is a significant piece of work and I expect it to play an important part in creating a different ownership landscape in the years to come." (Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism: The Scottish Parliament)
"Already looks like being one of the most influential business books of the year" (Scotsman)
"BEYOND THE CORPORATION gives a breathtaking overview of employee ownership over the years and across the continents and provides a passionate argument of the case for employee ownership. It should be compulsory reading, not just for those of us on the inside, but for any student of economics, sociology, business or politics." (Carole Leslie, Policy Director, Employee Ownership Association)
"Erdal convincingly exposes the gross errors in the conventional models economists use to describe people and businesses (which he labels 'just-so stories'), and describes how and why employee-owned businesses are superior to publicly listed companies in every way. The book is an easy read, jam-packed with quotable passages." (R. Eric Swanepoel Bella Caledonia Blog)
A blueprint for the 21st-century business: where employees share ownership, information and profits of the businesses where they work.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
There is little point in repeating what the other reviewers have written so let me just add that it fits beautifully with Bruce K, Alexander's "The Globalization of Addiction, A Study in Poverty of the Spirit" [...] and Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's "The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone" [...] I have had the pleasure of meeting Erdal, Alexander and Wilkinson, and of alerting the latter two to each other's remarkably complementary work. I recommend looking at The Equality Trust website for a quick overview of Wilkinson and Pickett's work [...].
All three books will leave you excited and outraged: "Of course, it's so bleeding obvious what's gone wrong! Now we must fix it!" Please read them and pass the word on. The revolution is possibly starting now!
Prevalent in all case histories presented in the book is the remarkable progress made by companies when turned, properly and effectively into employee-owned concerns. Efficiency improves; staff morale, and with it punctuality and reliability improves and employees, rightly then called partners take a real pride in their own company. With the change comes a degree of job security and confidence not found in industry or commerce in these times.
There is something of an evangelical feel to the writing style, with banks and shareholders being held up as villains to be vanquished, and in the light of some British companies' experience this may have some validity. Nonetheless, Erdal is fighting for his own deeply-held beliefs. Is this the way forward for all businesses in the future? Maybe, but those in opposition to the principle have, by Erdal's account too strong a vested interest to advise anything different from those contemplating the idea.
The main question this book raises for me is when are the majority of employees and consumers going to wake up to to this con and do something about it?
This book should be proscribed reading for every social science undergraduate in the UK. To that end I am going to send a copy to every Dean of every SCottish Business School and ask them to face up to their responsibilty as educators and ensure that our young people are presented with facts and choices in terms of how we run business and our economy. If it helps they can regard it as a contribution to the perfect information required of the pefrectly competitive market equilibrium, to enable consumers to make rational choices and not be subjected to an orthodox dogma which, as Eral points out, not even the High Priests (Greenspan and Welch to name two) would even continue to defend in the wake of the recent financial crisis.
Don't just buy a copy of this book for your own consumption, be a good Keynesian and buy one for a politician, civil servant or business advisor of your acquaintance and help stimulate the demand side of the economy whilst educating them to the fact that employee ownership is better for everyone.
I enjoyed it so much I think because it combines so many things I enjoy in a book:
- an emotionally powerful story - of hardship and hope
- detailed explanation of the issues involved, and a rigorous analysis of them
- the breaking of many, many much beloved myths
- advice for those who want to get on and do it
- a simple set of inspiring but practical actions
Buy it, read it, give it to a friend.
Failing that go to the employee ownership website and get involved!