Looking Deeper at the
By John McNamara
The next principle from Mondragon is that of Participatory Management. This seems like a no-brainer for worker co-operatives. What is the point of going through all the work of setting up a worker co-op if the workers don’t actually have a say in how the place is run? They would be better off in a unionized Employee Stock Ownership Program.
I’ll get more into this in a second. First, I want to share the language of the principle from Mondragon (translated, as they all are, of course):
“The Mondragon Cooperative Experience believes that the democratic character of the Cooperative is not limited to membership aspects, but that it also implies the progressive development of self-management and consequently of the participation of members in the sphere of business management which, in turn, requires:
a) The development of suitable mechanisms and channels for participation.
b) Freedom of information concerning the development of the basic management variables of the Cooperative.
c) The practice of methods of consultation and negotiation with worker-members and their social representatives in economic, organisational and labour decisions which concern or affect them.
d) The systematic application of social and professional training plans for members.
e) The establishment of internal promotion as the basic means of covering posts with greater professional responsibility.”
(source: The Mondragon Cooperative Experience, by José María Ormaechea, 2000)(more...)