Identity, participation and firm longevity: An Analysis of Worker Cooperatives through the Lens of Argentina’s Recovered Firm Movement
Article for the Cooperatives Summit, Québec 2012
This article analyzes the long-term viability of the worker cooperative (WC) model through the lens of Argentina’s recovered firms (RFs), a movement of WCs that emerged from Argentina’s 2001 economic crisis. The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) broadly defines a cooperative as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise” (ica.coop). A cooperative differs from a privately owned business in that all members hold ownership,
encompassing both control and residual claimancy rights, equally.2 The term cooperative encompasses a broad range of firms that may be delineated into subcategories based on the composition of their membership body, the functions they perform and the geographic boundary of their service area. This article focuses solely on WCs, which are firms that are owned and managed by their employees.