Why this book, now?

Following the widespread loss of jobs from the global financial crisis of 2008, and the calls voiced by 'Occupy' and other popular movements in many countries since 2011, public discussion has grown markedly in a search for fairer methods for managing the "economic machinery" of today’s societies.

One key arena where economic activity affects most individuals "up close and personal" is their daily workplace. Consequently, many people have asked me to make available this study of democratic workplaces, a book which sold out its three printings in the 1970s and 1980s, yet has been out-of-print since then.

Therefore we are now re-issuing this analysis, so as to enable persons who are interested in democratizing their workplaces to base their efforts not on the vision of just one individual, nor on the unique theory of a particular social movement, but rather on the combined, and concrete, experiences of a wide variety of enterprises, covering several generations and forms. Newer democratic workplaces (launched since this book first appeared) have confirmed the analysis and lessons identified in its first edition. Thus, by conveying that varied experience now, this book can alert today’s readers to certain critical mistakes to avoid when creating democratic enterprises, and can introduce them to crucial, tested, pathways to success.

Readers primarily interested in these practical pointers may decide to skip over Chapter 1, since that chapter addresses the concerns of academics in regard to research methodology.