Making Mondragon The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex Synopsis
Since its founding in 1956 in Spain's Basque region, the Mondragon Corporation has been a touchstone for the international cooperative movement. Its nearly three hundred companies and organizations span areas from finance to education. In its industrial sector Mondragon has had a rich experience over many years in manufacturing products as varied as furniture, kitchen equipment, machine tools, and electronic components and in printing, shipbuilding, and metal smelting. Making Mondragon is a groundbreaking look at the history of worker ownership in the Spanish cooperative. First published in 1988, it remains the best source for those looking to glean a rich body of ideas for potential adaptation and implementation elsewhere from Mondragon's long and varied experience. This second edition, published in 1991, takes into account the major structural and strategic changes that were being implemented in 1990 to allow the enterprise to compete successfully in the European common market. Mondragon has created social inventions and developed social structures and social processes that have enabled it to overcome some of the major obstacles faced by other worker cooperatives in the past. William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte describe the creation and evolution of the Mondragon cooperatives, how they have changed through decades of experience, and how they have struggled to maintain a balance between their social commitments and economic realities. The lessons of Mondragon apply most clearly to worker cooperatives and other employee-owned firms, but also extend to regional development and stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship, whatever the form of ownership.
Making Mondragon The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex Press Reviews
Mondrag?n has become a name of magic in the history of worker cooperatives and worker ownership. This volume may well become a beacon pointing to the successful expansion of the concept of cooperative employee ownership. It is an extraordinary study of an extraordinary business enterprise. --Irving Bluestone, United Automobile Workers and Wayne State University Making Mondrag?n is a superb organizational study of an unusual social experiment. I recommend it highly for anyone interested in developing alternative economic structures or for those interested in supporting local entrepreneurship and developing flexible, horizontal systems of small businesses. --Journal of the American Planning Association Making Mondrag?n is an extremely well-written, well-organized, and easy-to-read book. For scholars and students interested in industrial democracy, employee ownership, and cooperatives, the book provides detailed explanations, diagrams, tables, and case histories. For cooperatives and employee-owned firms elsewhere the book provides useful insights and the lessons that can be learned from the Mondrag?n experience. --Relations Industrielles William F. Whyte was one of the first American scholars to give serious attention both to employee ownership in the U.S. and to the Mondrag?n worker cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain. . . . In this new book, Whyte and his wife and colleague, Kathleen Whyte, have provided the definitive narrative of the growth of the Mondragon cooperatives. . . . It is a remarkable story, and the Whytes' book provides a detailed description of how the co-ops developed. . . . Using extensive interview data, the Whytes provide a thorough political history. . . . While previous work has focused on the economic performance of Mondrag?n, this volume focuses on how Mondrag?n's leaders shaped the system and coped with challenges to it. It is a history compiled with care and obvious admiration. Anyone interested in the Mondrag?n story needs this book. --Employee Ownership Report Making Mondrag?n should occupy a significant spot on the shelf of all organizational theorists, ethnographers of the workplace, and social scientists of administration. Once again, William Foote Whyte . . . forges new ground and cements his place as one of the premier analysts and qualitative methodologists of American social science. In a career marked by distinction, this book is no exception. --Administrative Science Quarterly This well-researched study should be read by anyone with an interest in worker cooperatives, community economic development, and work redesign programs. --Contemporary Sociology We have in this book not only lessons and prescriptions for organizational practice, but also the first step into a new academic discipline--social anthropology of advanced organizations. --Organization Studies This important work deserves attention both from those with a special interest in cooperatives and from organizational sociologists in general. --American Journal of Sociology