The performance of employee-owned businesses in Scotland: some preliminary empirical evidence

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In recent years, there has been a growing focus on promoting the concept of employee-ownership of businesses within public policy. One of the strong drivers of this is an assumption that these businesses out-perform conventionally structured businesses. This paper highlights some of the findings from the first empirical examination of the growth performance of employee-owned businesses (EOBs) ever undertaken in Scotland. The study involved an in-depth examination of a small sample of employee owned firms and a quasi-experimental comparison of these firms against a control group of non-employee owned firms. The study confirms that the performance of EBOs is generally superior to that of non EBOs on a number of different variables. On average, employee-owned firms both employ more staff and exhibit higher turnover growth than their peers. The results of this analysis are discussed and the policy implications arising from the study are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages9
JournalFraser of Allander Economic Commentary
Issue number3
Early online date13 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Employee Ownership
  • SMEs
  • Growth
  • Scotland
  • Policy


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