181 – Tackling entrepreneurship in recovered enterprises

Recovered enterprises, as labour- or worker-managed firms, are investor-owned business which have been taken over by their former employees. Although not completely unknown, only recently scholars have investigated this phenomenon, which gained considerable relevance since the Argentinian Empresas Recuperadas por sus Trabajadores.

Mainly through qualitative methodologies, scholars collected information and data on firms’ organization structures, networks, participative schemes and social values, by focusing on workers’ participation and local communities’ engagement. Yet, little is known about entrepreneurial patterns behind the recovery projects and the reasons why workers undergo these efforts. In spite of benefits and competitive advantages, a recovered enterprise’s emergence is a relatively rare event.

Under-capitalization, incentive problems and collective decision-making are considered the main hurdles in recovered enterprise’s creation. However, no further investigations have been conducted on workers’ entrepreneurial behaviours and their risk perception in uncertain environments.

Through a literary review, the paper tackles this gap by exploring business dynamics and entrepreneurial theories. Conclusions suggest that a deepening in workers’ behaviours is needed, as neither individual nor collective entrepreneurship fully comply with recovered enterprises’ emergence.

Key words: Recovered enterprises, Labour-managed firm, Co-operatives, Collective entrepreneurship

JEL codes : L31, P13, J54