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On Your Owner

The argument for giving employees a piece of the pie

This story appears in the July 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jack Stack and co-author Bo Burlingham helped validate sharing information with employees in The Great Game of Business (Currency Doubleday, 1992). In A Stake In The Outcome (Currency Doubleday, $24.95), Stack and his co-author aim to do the same for employee ownership.

Post-Enron, executives who encourage workers to invest in company shares are likely to be viewed with suspicion. Stack's premise, however, is that letting employees buy stock in a company can do a great deal to help both parties. And the benefits go far beyond reducing turnover and easing recruitment hiring. Done right, employee stock ownership can help each and every employee act like a true owner. But it's not simple. Each chapter offers an "Ownership Rule." Some are obvious or shopworn, but others are more far-reaching and groundbreaking. Ownership Rule #9 states, "Getting out is harder than getting in." It addresses the fact that if you let employees buy stock, you have to provide the money and method for them to sell it back.

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