MBC Ventures, Inc.: An Employee Stock Ownership Plan with a union partner
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Citation of Original PublicationHoffman, R.C., Brown, M.O., Jr., & Shipper, F. M. (2013). MBC Ventures, Inc.: An Employee Stock Ownership Plan with a union partner. Journal of Business Case Studies, 9(5), 387-404.
MBC Ventures, Inc. is a 161 year-old company that is going through both product and organizational transitions. It has left one of its traditional product lines, paint brushes, behind and has developed a new one, solar panels. The organization has gone from being part of a large diversified conglomerate to a small employee-owned company with two distinct product lines. The second product line, solar panels, has been added only recently. The organization has gone from being a product unit within a hierarchically-oriented, large diversified conglomerate to an independent, team-oriented, egalitarian organization. The conglomerate was a publically traded organization; whereas, MBC Ventures is employee owned. The transition to employee ownership would not have been possible without the cooperation and financial assistance of the United Steelworkers union. These transitions that have occurred since 1990 have not been without problems including two major recessions. Currently, the company is doing quite well. This case discusses how the firm has implemented employee ownership and participatory management, and its decision to diversify into a new growth product line. Some financial results are provided.