Bibliography of the SSE.E IVET Training module 2. Democratic Management in the Social Solidarity Economy

This list of resources is part of the training module 2 aimed at promoting the Social Solidarity Economy at the level of Initial Vocational and Educational Training in Europe.These training modules are a tool for trainers working in IVET, from age 14 and to age 25; but also for other professionals operating at different levels of the training and education system and people and organisations working in the Social Solidarity Economy and who have an interest in developing actions in the field of education and training.

Here we share a list of resources which can be useful for trainers to know more about the topics covered in this module.

Worker cooperatives are built on a framework of democracy, but this does workers very little good unless the means to exercise their rights and enjoy the protections this framework provides are in place – this is what an effective governance system does. The governance system primarily focuses on how a democratic firm’s policy is established, how this information is communicated throughout the firm, and works to protect the personal rights of the members. It provides the means for matters of organizational direction and policy to be dealt with democratically.

This report is meant to offer guidelines for the design of governance systems that help a co-op avoid the twin traps so many democratic firms fall into: either so much structure and bureaucratic procedure that members cannot actually use the power they formally have, or so little structure that there is no available means to make a difference. We seek, instead, structures that empower people.

The paper specifically focuses on Italy’s worker buyouts (WBOs) facilitated by its Legge Marcora (Marcora Law) framework—the form of worker-recuperated enterprises predominating in Italy.

This resource gives very useful insight on organizing cooperation and governance. Some parts could be translated and added to the resources, and specially the mapping of cooperation & governance options.

The Position Paper responds to concerns that the process of crafting a post-2015 development agenda and set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has so far paid insufficient attention to the role of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE).

SSE refers to the production of goods and services by a broad range of organizations and enterprises that have explicit social and often environmental objectives. SSE organizations are guided by principles of cooperation, solidarity, ethics and democratic self-management.

This article aims to reflect on the shared moral feelings and motivations on which to base and orientate cooperative action. In this paper, when considering the question about the reproduction of cooperative culture it is important to address the field of values. One of these values is the principle of solidarity. We highlight the fact that values are not merely normative, rational principles but have an experienced and embodied dimension. We briefly analyse the experience of the long-standing Mondragon Cooperative Movement as a relevant case study to illustrate how the value of solidarity plays out.

Section 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 of the chapter 2 – Governance and Management of SSE Organisations

Training material

Chapter 3 – presents a vision of the application of democratic governance in cooperative enterprises; based principles of good governance supporting and enabling management. With exercises for concept reflections.

In Module 4: Developing a Social Enterprise Culture you will find good practice examples and tools for managing a SSE organization (p. 49 ff)


One-hour documentary questioning if we should be pushing for a democratic cooperative way of doing business, showing case studies of businesses who are surviving as democracies within a capitalist system.Grounded in the Swedish context but suited for international audiences, the film explore the what, why, and how of worker-owned cooperatives through interviews with experts, visits to coops, and brief expository interludes.


Some articles could maybe be translated to be added to the resources, as they help understand governance options.

ONE OF THE BASICS for general understanding “Civil society organizations are playing a key role in addressing global societal and ecological issues, often setting the agenda for public discourse. Therefore, at a time when they are becoming more varied and interwoven than ever, critical analysis of the governance of these organizations and networks, and their role in a democratic society, is particularly important. This book addresses these challenges by revisiting concepts of citizenship, public participation, the democratic exchange of ideas, markets, co-construction and co-production of public services, and alternative political ideologies. The first part of the book focuses on internal governance and the economic dimensions of civil society organizations and analyses the growing role of management models. The second part addresses the institutional dimensions and focuses on public spaces and the capacity of civil society organizations to resist, collaborate and negotiate with the State

[…] the reality is that capitalism has always been contested and that people have created many other ways of providing for themselves. This book explores economic and organizational possibilities which extend far beyond the narrow imagination of economists and management theorists. Chapters on co-operatives, community currencies, the transition movement, scrounging, co-housing and much more paints a rich picture of the ways in which another word is not only possible, but already taking shape. The aim of this companion is to move beyond complaining about the present and into exploring this diversity of organisational possibilities. Our starting point is a critical analysis of contemporary global capitalism is merely the opening for thinking about organizing as a form of politics by other means, and one that can be driven by the values of solidarity, freedom and responsibility.