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Teaching Our Way to a More Equitable Economy

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Revamped Rutgers Database Offers 600+ Teaching Resources on Employee Share Ownership

PISCATAWAY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ESOP–Rutgers University today unveiled a major redesign of the world’s only online library dedicated to employee share ownership, a business model that can reduce wealth inequality in America and help save jobs during the COVID-19 recession. The newly relaunched Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership (CLEO) features more than 600 resources designed to help college professors teach about employee share ownership in their classes. It is also a valuable resource for company leaders, researchers, and the public.

“In this time of economic contraction, it is more important than ever to understand proven tools that strengthen companies and share wealth with employees,” said Adria Scharf, CLEO project director and Beyster Fellow. “Scholars have generated an enormous amount of evidence suggesting that employee share ownership can strengthen firm performance, firm survival, and job stability, and improve employee economic wellbeing. CLEO organizes and makes this body of information accessible so that more professors in business schools and other fields can easily teach about employee share ownership and how it works.”

CLEO is housed within the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, and administered by the school’s James B. Carey Library. Its growing collection, available at, includes:

  • Links to more than 100 case studies of employee-owned companies;
  • 14 downloadable, full-text company case studies ready for classroom use;
  • Links to more than 100 academic journal articles;
  • 54 policy and issue reports on employee share ownership;
  • Links to 23 films and videos, including interviews with our research fellows; and
  • 15 sample syllabi for use by business school and graduate school professors.

“I teach core courses on organizational behavior and corporate social responsibility in our MBA program, and CLEO is an indispensable resource as I design my syllabi,” said Ed Carberry, associate professor in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “Although I also use other popular websites to develop my course materials, they offer very little about employee ownership. CLEO is a unique source of information and course materials for teachers who want to inspire their students to think bigger, and its recent redesign has made it an even better resource.”

Broad-based employee ownership is an important succession strategy for retiring business owners and firms struggling with the COVID-19 recession. Rutgers research finds that employee ownership enables low-income and moderate-income workers to build significant wealth, narrowing the gender and racial wealth gaps. Employee-owned firms have the potential for higher productivity, lower turnover, and more stable employment.

“I include sharing ownership and participation at work in every general management, social responsibility, and social enterprises course that I teach,” said Daphne Berry, associate professor of management at the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford. “Decision making, teamwork, motivation, labor relations, organizational design, and stakeholders’ interests are a few of the topics that lend themselves to discussions of how shared ownership can positively influence company productivity, employee engagement, and shared responsibility. CLEO is my go-to source for teaching materials.”

Launched in 2008 by the Beyster Foundation for Enterprise Development, the Employee Ownership Foundation, and the Aspen Institute, CLEO moved to Rutgers in 2016 and continues to grow with more syllabi and case studies. The Rutgers Office of Information Technology (OIT) redesigned the database in collaboration with Julie Peters, director of the James B. Carey Library. Scharf joined as project director in 2019 after working on “The Shared Capitalism Project,” a major research project involving Rutgers, Harvard, and researchers from several colleges and universities.

About the School

The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) is the world’s leading source of expertise on managing and representing workers, designing effective organizations, and building strong employment relationships. SMLR’s Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing is the first academic institute dedicated to researching broad-based capital shares and their impact on the economy. The James B. Carey Library provides reference and information services to SMLR students and faculty, the larger Rutgers community, labor relations and HR professionals, and the working people and employers of New Jersey.


Steve Flamisch, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

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