Economics, Cooperation, and Employee Ownership: The Emilia Romagna model – in more detail
In some ways, Emilia Romagna and the Basque co-ops are very different. In the Basque region, the Mondragon employee cooperatives grew out of Catholic social teaching and Basque nationalism in the 1950s and 1960s. In Emilia Romagna, by contrast, the co-ops grew up with the 19th century labor movement but split into three different partisan political federations – Catholic, Socialist/Communist, and Social Democratic/Republican – in the 20th century. They have no link to ethnic or linguistic minorities.
In other ways, they are very similar. Both appear to owe their success today to a combination of small scale, flexible employee-owned firms which achieve economies of scale to compete globally through collaborative research
and development strategies, cooperative export efforts, their own financial institutions, and other forms of collaboration and cooperation that are largely or completely missing in the employee-owned sector in the US.
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