Date of Thesis

5-8-2014

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

First Advisor

Michael Johnson-Cramer

Second Advisor

Berhanu Nega

Abstract

In business literature, the conflicts among workers, shareholders and the management have been studied mostly in the frame of stakeholder theory. The stakeholder theory recognizes this issue as an agency problem, and tries to solve the problem by establishing a contractual relationship between the agent and principals. However, as Marcoux pointed out, the appropriateness of the contract as a medium to reduce the agency problem should be questioned. As an alternative, the cooperative model minimizes the agency costs by integrating the concept of workers, owners and management. Mondragon Corporation is a successful example of the cooperative model which grew into the sixth largest corporation in Spain. However, the cooperative model has long been ignored in discussions of corporate governance, mainly because the success of the cooperative model is extremely difficult to duplicate in reality. This thesis hopes to revitalize the scholarly examination of cooperatives by developing a new model that overcomes the fundamental problem in the cooperative model: the limited access to capital markets. By dividing the ownership interest into financial and control interest, the dual ownership structure allows cooperatives to issue stock in the capital market by making a financial product out of financial interest.

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