I approve of this. I will watch with interest

The privately owned book chain Blackwell has outlined plans to copy the way that the John Lewis department store does business – and hand ownership of the company over to its 900 staff.

The 130-year-old academic books specialist is closing down its Oxford head office and relocating staff to work in the stores. Toby Blackwell, the current owner of the business, is setting up an employee partnership, following the John Lewis model, that will hand control of the company to the staff.


2 thoughts on “I approve of this. I will watch with interest

  1. Aye. They tell us involving staff wouldn’t work because most of them are too cynical & half-arsed, but where did that attitude come from? Wouldn’t the fact that most of us have no real stake in our work have something to do with it?


    During the furore about banks, in January this year, I simply transferred from Shat West to the Co-Operative bank. No fireworks, I just did it, & I certainly wasn’t alone. I have suggested it to friends who, often, will complain about banks yet leave their own money with them, a thing which it is plainly within our power to avoid.

    1. Indeed, a lifetime of bugger all responsibility, of being overworked and underpaid does not lead someone to become the perfect cooperative worker… However, in the long run, things will be different. Waitrose outcompeted M&S this Christmas, I think it had something to do with their business model.

      Same thing with democracy (political rather than workplace) if you don’t use it you don’t develop an aptitude for it. Same with anything, if you don’t practice, you don’t get good. How often are workers given a real say in the way their company is run? Not often enough.

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