Measuring performance: differences between capitalist and labour-owned enterprises
Francisco J. Arcelus
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test whether performance differences between labour-managed (LOFs) and mercantile (PCFs) firms are due to the measures used in the comparison, rather than to their distinct capital-ownership configurations. Design/methodology/approach – Tests for the equality of two means and two variances of a variety of performance measures were used to ascertain whether differences between LOFs and PCFs firms are due to the measures used in the comparison, rather than to their distinct capital-ownership configurations Findings – The indicators analyzed do not provide either type of organizational structure a definite superiority in either short-economic performance or in short-term profitability and the profitability indicators assign as good a chance of survival to LOFs as to PCFs of similar size, even if the analysis of their respective debt structures indicates some clear limitations on their growth prospects. Practical implications – The paper stresses the importance of using proper measures of the performance of LOFs, to avoid a common practice of being short-changed in their evaluation of their economic performance, profitability, return of labour and financial structure. Originality/value – The study will be useful to the worker-owners of the LOFs and to those evaluating their performance, such as lenders, regulators, other public officials and the like.
Corporate ownership, Performance measurement (quality), Small enterprises
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