Date of Conferral







Danielle Wright-Babb


AbstractResearchers have documented a variety of challenges that worker-owned cooperatives experience as a result of poor management. Most cooperative literature is focused on agriculture economics and cooperative organizations in other countries. The lack of attention in the social science literature on worker cooperatives in the United States reflects a need for further exploration of this business model. Accordingly, this qualitative case study was conducted to explore mismatches in organizational value between the organization and the employee–owners. The goal was to gather the perceptions of employee–owners and managerial personnel that could be leveraged to increase member commitment for a successful worker-owned cooperative. Person–organization fit and value congruence theories were the conceptual frameworks used to address the effect of organizational identification and member commitment as a work outcome among employee–owners. A purposeful sample of 15 respondents from multiple worker-owned cooperatives in the United States participated in virtual semi structured one-on-one interviews. Notes from reflective journaling, document review, and archival material were coded and analyzed forming preliminary free codes. Study results indicated no mismatch between the organization and employee–owners; instead, the results suggested five factors that influence the perception of value. This research study is significant for employee–owners, cooperative practitioners, and cooperative scholars in the effort to increase the general knowledge and understanding of worker-owned cooperatives.