Employee stock ownership plans: Union influence and stakeholder interests

Patrick P. McHugh, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Michael Polzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article extends understanding of how institutional factors influence the degree to which employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are or are not democratically structured. It examines how factors such as union member participation, industry, age of the ESOP, ownership structure and firm size influence a range of ESOP attributes, including: level of employee ownership, stock allocations, vesting and voting practices and the extent of employee participation in administration and decision-making. Based on a survey of 68 ESOPs, we found that when bargaining unit workers participated in an ESOP, the plan tended to be more participative and egalitarian. By contrast, the other factors examined had relatively little impact. These findings have important implications for unions, managers and policy-makers around what form of ESOP to advance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-560
Number of pages26
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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