DOI link for ESOP’s fable
ESOP’s fable book
This essay, drawing upon a report prepared for the South African trade union movement, assesses the position of ESOPs.1 The first part addresses conceptual issues, while later sections discuss the historical record of ESOPs and examines some of the theoretical literature. Finally, the literature for the more recent empirical evidence is reviewed. Overall, it is found that ESOPs have become a management strategy not only to incorporate workers but also to gain tax, financial and other advantages useful in takeover battles. The last part of the chapter examines the trade union involvement around ESOPs and finds that they have proved an inadequate vehicle for working class advance, even in the most favourable circumstances provided by Swedish social democracy.