Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Dorothy Hanson


New managers of worker-owned cooperatives who fail to adapt to changing conditions can threaten the organization’s viability. Some new managers of worker-owned cooperatives may lack the strategies they need to maintain consistent employment levels during economic downturns. Grounded in the expected utility theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the strategies used by managers of worker-owned cooperatives to maintain consistent employment levels during sustained periods of low revenue. Participants comprised seven managers of worker-owned cooperatives with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in the Midwest of the United States managing cooperatives during sustained periods of low revenue. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, journaling notes, and business documents from participants. Thematic analysis identified three key themes: two-way communication, adjustment of employee compensation and hours, and sharing member duties. A recommendation for action is that managers implement an open and honest communication strategy regarding cooperative management without bias. Implications for positive social change include the potential of assisting economic stability and job creation for communities across the United States.