The string of business scandals that recently engulfed America painted a picture of corporate chieftains lining their pockets by cutting corners, cooking the books, and duping gullible investors. In doing so, greedy CEOs have hijacked what could be one of the most important business innovations in decades: stock options for all employees. Joseph Blasi, Douglas Kruse, and Aaron Bernstein-all leading experts on employee ownership-show how American companies would perform much better if they followed the lead of many high-tech firms and granted options to their entire workforce, rather than to just a tiny corporate elite. Using SEC data in a way never done before, they document the vast wealth executives have accumulated for themselves. It shows how the abuse of options has taken place not just at scandal-ridden companies such as Enron and WorldCom, but across the entire reach of corporate America. In the Company of Owners argues that there's a better way. Broad-employee ownership through stock options offers a new model for US corporations and American capitalism.
The authors explain how employees and shareholders alike would benefit if most large companies adopted what they call the partnership capitalism approach-using options to encourage employees to think and act like owners. A searing critique of business as usual in America's executive suites, this book offers a comprehensive vision for how stock options can enrich companies, employees, investors, and the US economy as a whole. With its remarkable new evidence and astute synthesis, In the Company of Owners will change the way America thinks about stock options. Joseph R. Blasi, a sociologist, and Douglas L. Kruse, an economist, are professors at Rutgers University's School of Management and Labor Relations. Aaron Bernstein is a senior writer at Business Week magazine.
Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse are professors at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, in Piscataway, New Jersey. Aaron Bernstein is an associate editor of BusinessWeek and lives in Washington, D.C.