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Can Employee Share-Ownership Improve Employee Attitudes and Behaviour?

McCarthy, D., Reeves, E. and Turner, T., 2010. Can Employee Share-Ownership Improve Employee Attitudes and Behaviour? Employee Relations, 32 (4), 382 - 395 .

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McCarthy_et_al__2010._shareownership.pdf - Accepted Version


DOI: 10.1108/01425451011051604


Purpose: To examine the outcomes of a substantial broad-based employee share-ownership scheme for employee attitudes and behaviour in a privatised firm. Methodology: Results are based on a survey of 711 employees in Eircom, an Irish telecommunications firm, which is 35 percent employee-owned. Findings: The ESOP has created sizable financial returns and has had extensive influence in firm governance at the strategic level. However, findings show only a limited impact on employee attitudes and behaviour. This is attributed to a failure in creating a sense of employee participation and line of sight between employee performance and reward. Originality: Little research has examined the impact of a large employee shareholding on attitudes and behaviour within a public-quoted firm. The substantial and unparalleled size of the Eircom ESOP presented a unique opportunity to conduct such a study. Policy implications: The aim of employee share-ownership often includes aligning employee objectives with those of other shareholders, and thus improving labour performance. The findings in this study highlight a need to provide employees with a sense of ownership and control. Findings also question the assumption that where employees have a substantial shareholding, they will focus on securing the long-term prospects of the firm.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Company profit sharing schemes, Employee attitudes, Employee participation, Ireland, Private sector organizations, Privatization
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:20407
Deposited By: Mr Dermot McCarthy
Deposited On:05 Sep 2012 10:39
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:45

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