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Shipper Co-Authors Paper for Rutgers-Oxford Employee Ownership Research Symposium

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---When family obligations kept Dr. Frank Shipper, professor emeritus of management in Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, from accepting an invitation to speak on employee ownership at this year’s Rutgers-Oxford Employee Ownership Research Symposium at the University of Oxford’s Kellogg College., Dr. John Hoffmire, research associate at the college’s Centre for Mutual and Co-owned Business, and he got creative.

They developed a role play in which Hoffmire takes on the role of a doubter of previous employee ownership research, with Shipper playing the part of a wise counselor, expressing optimism that more value can be found in both past research and U.S. worker cooperatives than Hoffmire has been willing to see.

Hoffmire presented the resulting paper, “Employee Ownership Research and Where It Could Focus in the Future,” at the conference, providing Shipper with the opportunity to participate while not being present. He noted the importance of Shipper’s stance on studying extraordinary employee-owned companies.

“On the one hand, what [he] is saying is obvious,” said Hoffmire. “But on the other hand, it is very nuanced. I think this is especially true when [he] discusses the mean as compared to the extraordinary.”

According to Shipper, some of the most successful employee cooperatives demonstrate the potential for such business models to make a larger impact on the economy. These include Equal Exchange in the U.S., which grew in sales from $7 million in 2000 to $88 million in 2020, and Mondragon in Spain, along with its largest cooperative, the Eroski supermarket chain, which saw sales soar when quickly transitioning from brick-and-mortar store to an online retailer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shipper has spoken at the University of Oxford multiple times. His research also has been presented at the Beyster Symposiums at the University of California, San Diego; the Business Fights Poverty conferences at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School; the International Rendanheyi Model Forum in Qingdao, China; the Mid-Year Fellows Workshop in Honor of Louis O. Kelso at Rutgers University, the Academy of Management’s Annual Meetings and other venues.

His studies also have been referenced by national media, including MSNBC and The Wall Street Journal, and featured in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations’ Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership, the largest global online library on employee ownership, among other notable outlets.

Last year, he was awarded Rutgers University’s William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King White Book Prize for the book Shared Entrepreneurship: A Path to Engaged Employee Ownership, for which he served as editor and coauthor.

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