The risks and benefits of employee ownership

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The risks and benefits of employee ownership

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Bold moves: but can the Tories deliver

The news that the Conservative Party intend to facilitate greater employee ownership in public services is one of the boldest policy announcements of David Cameron’s leadership. Labour has already thrown scorn on what appears to be political cross-dressing, and the left-leaning twitterati have pored over the proposal for inconsistency and policy naivete. But what evidence is there out there on the viability of such schemes, and how likely is it that the Tories could deliver this successfully?

I authored a Demos pamphlet on alternative ownership models last year, and while I’m more concerned with ownership pathologies in the private sector, the report looks at the potential and precedents for employee ownership in the public sector too. Here are three sets of questions thrown up by this morning’s announcement:

Growth areas. The first question must be which areas of public services might

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  1. February 15, 2010


    “There is less research on the public sector potential”

    This is the main point. It has been proven to work in the private sector but NOT the public sector. I think the conservatives are over estimating the positive effect of employee ownership in the public sector.

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William Davies

William Davies’s report “Reinventing the Firm” is published by Demos in September 

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