An Update From the Employee Ownership Foundation

The Employee Ownership Foundation (EOF) has helped to fund many projects in support of our mission to promote employee ownership. One of the most longstanding is the annual Kelso Workshop at Rutgers University in January.  Each year this academic conference convenes experts, researchers, and supporters of employee ownership, and the EOF has historically sponsored this gathering as well as some of the fellows and researchers who present their scholarly findings. Concurrent sessions cover any number of research topics, with participants and panelists all engaging in reflection, debate, and real scrutiny on the latest topics, data, and conclusions in the employee ownership space.

This year Jim Bonham, the EOF President, attended the conference to offer his perspective at a plenary address on Saturday afternoon.  The topics he covered ranged from academic research to the latest public policy developments, and then offered a glimpse into the future on both politics and employee ownership, taking questions from the assembled crowd.  Jim covered the expansion of the international employee ownership conference held in Oxford, England as well, and the growth and success of the EOF’s partnership with that effort in just two years. Much of the time and audience questions were focused on the importance of practical academic research to help elevate awareness and support for employee ownership, both in and outside of public policy circles.

Some of the research briefs offered to attendees by the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing were on the topics of safety at ESOP companies as well as ESOPs and retiree wealth, including one titled “Intergenerational Wealth Effects of ESOPs for Families of Color.”   An interesting preliminary report was also shared examining the barriers to ESOP adoption, which is likely to get further examination.  You can find some of these research briefs on the Employee Ownership Foundation’s website,