A research project focusing on Spanish co-op Mondragon has shown how companies can focus on delivering social benefit but also achieve business success.
Researchers at the Young Foundation say their findings from the world’s biggest worker-led co-op can help illustrate how to develop a more inclusive economy.
It highlights the salary ratio between the lowest and highest paid workers of 1:9 (compared to 1:129 for a FTSE 100 company), and the way Mondragon’s co-ops work together as an ecosystem to achieve their aims through inter-co-operation, adding to the resilience of the whole group.
This has created a network of sustainable infrastructure institutions, including schools and a university, banks and welfare support for members’ benefit, says the report.
Further strength comes from Mondragon’s investment in innovation, having its innovation model, M4Future, and 15 large technological centres.
The foundation says the research proves that people can be brought together to create sustainable positive change if strong and shared values are embedded in socioeconomic and investment practice. Ownership by workers also acts as a strong motivator for their loyalty to its business, adds the Young Foundation.
Ibon Zugasti, Mondragon’s international projects manager, said: “Mondragon presents an alternative approach to fighting the structural causes of inequality.
“We are therefore thrilled that our work with the Young Foundation has resulted in a compelling research report about the radical ways in which we work. It is really important that the findings of this research are used to help guide policy makers and industry towards an inclusive economy that truly works for everyone.”