WE THE OWNERS
Directed by David Romero
2012, 75 minutes
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What does it mean to be an owner? In We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream, employee owners from New Belgium Brewing, Namasté Solar and DPR Construction answer this important question.
Successfully thriving in the global economy of the 21st century and beyond will require new business models and strategies to enable the American Dream of opportunity and economic prosperity. One model that is an alternative is the employee-ownership model (e.g. ESOP, stock/stock options, cooperatives). We the Owners captures stories from the founders and employees from New Belgium Brewing, Namasté Solar, and DPR Construction, sharing the worker's perspectives on shared ownership structures, highly empowering corporate cultures, linked reward and risk incentives, and human-capital innovation models. The film follows as decisions are made on founding the company, expansion, succession, recruitment, and layoffs.
As the companies in the film show, employee ownership comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. What they have in common as “Best Places to Work” is that shared ownership and employee voice are integral to their responsible business practices, strategy, and success.
Subjects & Collections
“Does an excellent job of using...research and expert insights as a springboard for a deeper exploration into the inner-workings of employee-owned companies.” —Joseph Blasi, J.R. Beyster Professor, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University
“By drawing on the voices and life experiences of owners from the front line to top executives, the film demonstrates how employee ownership adds value by combining an innovative financial structure and governance system with real involvement and engagement of all the owners.” —Thomas A. Kochan, George M. Bunker Professor, MIT Sloan School Of Management; codirector, MIT Institute For Work And Employment Research
“Shows students that while broad ownership takes many forms, its core values of earned ownership, open book management, collaboration, and shared responsibility are the cornerstones of its success across the spectrum.” —Anthony Mathews, director, The Beyster Institute, Rady School of Management, UCSD
“Gives viewers an authentic, realistic look at how sharing in a company’s ownership unleashes employees’ productivity, innovation and entrepreneurial drive.” —Michael H. Morris, director of the School of Entrepreneurship, Oklahoma State University’s Spears School Of Business
“Presents a simple yet powerful solution for a nation that has yet to regain its footing after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression....This is a film whose time has come, and leaders will do well to set aside the time to watch it—and to learn the lessons that it so movingly presents.” —Peter Economy, associate editor, Leader To Leader magazine
“Sharing real stories of employee-owners, as We the Owners does so well, is an important way to educate viewers about the practice and benefits of allowing employees to become owners of stock in the company for which they work.” —Michael Keeling, president, The ESOP Association
“Using stories from some of the more impressive examples of enterprise level employee ownership, We the Owners helps to start a timely conversation about how we might build a more democratic and inclusive capitalism that transcends previously rigid ideological divides.” —Christopher Mackin, founder and president, Ownership Associates
“Starts a well-needed dialogue with the next generation of leaders about participative work practices....Looks at the challenges as well as the strengths of shared ownership. For companies that choose employee ownership with their eyes open, the results are well-documented and powerful.” —Loren Rodgers, executive director, National Center For Employee Ownership
“Not only gives viewers the context for employee ownership in this country's economic landscape, but it also provides viewers with the ability to hear about real experiences of sharing ownership from employee owners themselves....An essential resource...” —Virginia Vanderslice, president, Praxis Consulting Group, Inc.
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