[Excerpt] This book showcases the diverse state of cutting-edge academic work on shared capitalism. More specifically, this book attempts to illuminate a representative cross section of current research about shared capitalism, enliven academic debates about it, and embolden new research initiatives. The works in this volume do not provide a complete picture of the current state of employee ownership or research about it, but by showcasing a representative sample of work, they illuminate shared capitalism's complexity as an organizational, psychological, sociological, and economic phenomenon that requires deep interdisciplinary understanding.
Another goal of this volume is to demonstrate to broader groups of policy makers, shareholder activists, journalists, business intellectuals, economic and social justice activists, and citizens the ongoing relevance of shared capitalism and its potential for improving broader social and economic outcomes beyond employee well-being and firm productivity, such as promoting economic growth, innovation, and employment stability, as well as addressing the alarming growth in wealth inequality that has occurred in the last two decades. Although this book and its introduction focus primarily on employee ownership in the United States and, to a lesser extent, western Europe, it is important to note that shared capitalism can be found in all parts of the globe, from broad-based employee stock options in Korea, to the privatization of formerly state-owned industries in eastern Europe, to worker cooperatives in Argentina that were created in response to the financial crisis of the early 2000s. This diversity provides a rich set of experiences on which we can draw to assess the potential offered by shared capitalism and to inform policies to encourage it. This volume represents a modest step in that direction.