Author

Jordan Wade

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Leadership Studies

Abstract

It is the intent of this thesis to explore alternatives to the current methods of corporate governance and to examine business models that apply democratic ideals in the economic sector. Specifically I address one normative and three empirical questions. First, why should democratic principles and ideals be a part of the economic sector? After addressing this normative question by presenting several theoretical responses, I address three practical questions related to worker-participation: Is it possible for democratic and alternative businesses to function successfully in the capitalist market? What would a democratically organized firm look like to the common laborer? What type of leadershi[ structure would exist in a democratically driven firm?

I approach these questions from several perspectives throughout the thesis. The foundation of this thesis is structured upon the first question: why should democratic ideals be brought to the economic sector? I consider this question in the first chapter in which I outline several current problems in the workplace. These recurring social problems can be broken down into three categories: contract issues, psychological devaluation and coercive leadership. Additionally, each issue has social implications such as distrust of governing bodies, loss of human dignity and one way dependency on providers.

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