Academic journal article International Labour Review , Vol. 136, No. 2
Privatization surprises in transition economies: Employee-ownership in Central and Eastern Europe. Edited by Milica Uvalic and Daniel VaughanWhitehead. Cheltenham (Glos., UK), Edward Elgar/International Labour Organization, 1997. xiv + 306 pp. Tables, figures, index. 55/$85. ISBN 1-85898-621-4.
This book focuses on the development of employee ownership in central and eastern Europe, a phenomenon which has emerged only in recent years and has attracted growing interest, as the sale and free distribution of enterprise shares to employed workers and managers have been used as methods of privatization in many transition economies. Its aim is to investigate the extent and likely impact of employee ownership on the transition process now under way in those countries, to identify its particular strengths and deficiencies as a privatization strategy, and to suggest ways of improving the use of this form of ownership in combination with other privatization methods.
The potential role of employee ownership in enterprise restructuring attracted early criticism as likely to lead to a tremendous increase in wages and inflationary pressures, a deterioration in economic performance and delays in restructuring, as well as labour hoarding and a low propensity to carry out necessary investments. Yet, employee ownership has rapidly become a dominant property form in much of central and eastern Europe. …