Title

Productivity and Safety in Worker Cooperatives and Conventional Firms

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1984

Publication Title

International Journal of Health Services

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between productivity and workers' safety in firms characterized by very different types of relations in production. Arguments are developed to explain why worker cooperatives are expected to have higher productivity and lower accident rates than conventional capitalist firms. Workers who own and control their firms are expected to have a greater incentive to be efficient and a greater ability to safeguard their health than workers employed under hierarchical and alienating conditions. The hypotheses are tested by comparing carefully matched conventional and cooperative plywood companies. Preliminary results suggest that while cooperatives may be more productive they are not safer, indicating the limits of the isolated cooperative form in capitalist market economies.

Volume

14

Issue

3

pp.

413-432

ISSN

0020-7314