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About the book
  • Published: 22 March 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446468449
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

Beyond the Corporation

Humanity Working

A blueprint for the 21st-century business: where employees share ownership, information and profits of the businesses where they work.

* Beyond the Corporation is a book for our times. Offering inspiration and vision in the wake of financial Armageddon, it is the story of ordinary people who share the ownership of the businesses where they work.

* The enterprises come in all sizes: from companies employing just a few dozen people, to large corporations: John Lewis in the UK, employing 70,000 'partners'; Mondragon, a highly entrepreneurial group of over 100 businesses in Spain, employing more than 100,000; and many examples in the US, some employing tens of thousands. It would be hard to imagine a better informed, more involved or more enthusiastic set of employees - sharing the efforts of making their companies successful, and sharing all of the rewards. Unusually in the corporate world, they control their own destinies - a situation beyond the dreams of most working people.

* Erdal takes a hard look at those who insist, in the teeth of the evidence, that shared ownership will never work - a sorry tale, he argues, of prejudice masquerading as economic thinking. The book contains detailed case studies as well as interviews with a range of people, whose inspiring stories of success fly in the face of received wisdom. These successes include: high levels of productivity; sustained rapid growth; fast-moving, innovative responses to changing worlds; high levels of investment aimed at long-term prosperity; and, above all, the sheer happiness employees experience in working together in businesses that they own together, sharing the wealth that they create.

* At a time when the 'orthodox' corporate economy has been badly shaken, Beyond the Corporation makes essential reading.

  • Pub date: 22 March 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446468449
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

David Erdal

In a varied life, David Erdal won a scholarship to Oxford University; was elected as a trade union shop-steward; became for a time a professional communist organiser; worked in Mao's China; became disillusioned with totalitarian systems; distinguished himself at Harvard Business School; led one of Britain's most successful paper manufacturers and moved them into all-employee ownership; and advised companies, trade unions and governments in Slovenia, Zimbabwe, China and South Africa on privatising companies into ownership by all their employees. He gained a PhD in the psychology of sharing from St Andrews University in 2000. He is a director of a partnership that helps companies achieve all-employee buyouts and chairman of the Employee Ownership Trust.

Praise for Beyond the Corporation

“This is by far the best book to explain democratic employee ownership to business people and to the owners of family firms who might be considering a sale to the employees. David Erdal has "walked the walk" by arranging for the successful sale of his large family business to the employees so he speaks with a convincing authority on the matter. He masterfully spells out the arguments on economic, managerial, political, and social psychological grounds for democratic worker ownership. This combination of real world experience and interdisciplinary understanding of the issues makes this the book on democratic employee ownership.”

David Ellerman

“This is a significant piece of work and I expect it to play an important part in creating a different ownership landscape in the years to come.”

Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism: The Scottish Parliament

“Already looks like being one of the most influential business books of the year”


“BEYOND THE CORPORATION gives a breathtaking overview of employee ownership over the years and across the continents and provides a passionate argument of the case for employee ownership. It should be compulsory reading, not just for those of us on the inside, but for any student of economics, sociology, business or politics.”

Carole Leslie, Policy Director, Employee Ownership Association

“Erdal convincingly exposes the gross errors in the conventional models economists use to describe people and businesses (which he labels 'just-so stories'), and describes how and why employee-owned businesses are superior to publicly listed companies in every way. The book is an easy read, jam-packed with quotable passages.”

R. Eric Swanepoel, Bella Caledonia Blog

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