Episode 95: Benefits and Realities of Employee-Owned Businesses

Discover the power of employee-ownership as we explore how worker cooperatives are shaping the future of work and providing innovative solutions for customers and meaningful work, autonomy, and a voice in the workplace for workers.

Emi Do is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tokyo University of Agriculture and a co-author of the book "Cooperatives at Work."

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Episode Highlights


What are worker cooperatives?


Worker coop organizational structures


Benefits and challenges of being part of a worker cooperative


Decision-making in worker coops


"Consensus minus one"


Are worker coops really innovative?


The relationship between business owners and employees


Do people get fired in worker coops?


The amazing success of Mondragon


Converting a traditional organization into a worker coop


Employee-owners succeed where previous management failed

Emi's view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"Definitely work life balance. I think worker coops struggle with this as well. It's part of the market economy, there's a certain urgency to everything that requires a timeliness and an ability to meet deadlines that sometimes is not compatible with making sure that you're taking care of [yourself] and that you're able to make sure that your own personal needs are being met. I find this particularly strongly in the consultancy world."

What “working with humans” means to Emi

“Showing up as a whole person, I am definitely somebody who is productive, but I'm also somebody who is somebody's partner. I am a daughter. I am a trail runner. I have passions, so I think working with humans means working with a whole person.”


Follow: Emi on LinkedIn
Read: Cooperatives at Work

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.