From welfare to profit: The transformation of a trade union-owned firm

Chris Warhurst, Asaf Darr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on a trade union-owned commercial vehicle assembler operating in Israel since the mid-20th century. The article analyses the transformation of the case study firm's management, employment and work organization, the outcome of which is a firm concerned with profit, not employee welfare, as it was initially. The article explores how and why this transformation occurred. Secondary and primary data research is used in the analysis, consisting of archival and interview data respectively. This analysis reveals three distinct periods in the transformation, with an old firm, a transitional firm and a new firm. The research indicates that these periods correlate to the changes of political economy and institutional configurations within which the case study firm is embedded, suggesting that such embeddedness is a key issue for the firm and its orientation to welfare or profit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-309
Number of pages25
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Institutional configuration
  • Labour economy
  • Political economy
  • Trade union-owned firms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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