Reluctant Entrepreneurs: The Extent, Achievements and Significance of Worker Takeovers in Europe

Paton, Rob (1989). Reluctant Entrepreneurs: The Extent, Achievements and Significance of Worker Takeovers in Europe. Milton Keynes: The Open University Press.


This book is about people who became entrepreneurs, as one of them put it, "not by choice but by necessity" - as a way of preserving their livelihoods and workplaces. It is about how, across Europe, many hundreds of companies, and many thousands of jobs, have been preserved by groups of workers who had the initiative and determination to take over failing and bankrupt enterprises, usually when no one else was prepared to. It is, more than anything, a book about change: how moribund organizations have been transformed and industrial capacity preserved and reconstructed; how new ways of working (and new roles for trade unionists) have developed; how established social and political ideas have been re-evaluated; how new networks and economic formations have emerged; and how men and women have surprised themselves by what they have become and have achieved.

This international study reveals a striking mismatch between the achievements of entreprises taken over by their employees and their popular reputation for failure and mismanagement. Drawing on original research as well as work undertaken in the course of a policy study for the European Commission, the data and case studies from six countries provide a comprehensive picture of the circumstances under which Worker Take-Overs are attempted, how many there have been, the problems they face, how they tackle them, and how they perform - both commercially and as democratic organizations.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 23699
  • Item Type
  • Book
  • ISBN
  • 0-335-09233-0, 978-0-335-09233-8
  • Keywords
  • employee ownership; corporate turnarounds; management; corporate reorganisations; consolidation and merger of corporations; organisational change
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 1989 Rob Paton
  • Depositing User
  • Beryl Ridgway