Loss of organizational solidarity in three kibbutz factories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the loss of solidarity in three kibbutz factories as an outcome of the process of privatization in their kibbutz communities. Design/methodology/approach – The research was a qualitative investigation, including interviews in three factories. Findings – The research found high a sense of vertical and horizontal solidarity before the privatization. The solidarity stemmed from socialistic principles of the kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz) and their factories functioned as an extension of the kibbutz clan: close inter-personal relationships, a devotion to collective needs and democratic decision making in the kibbutz general assembly directly influencing the factories. After the privatization, the organizational solidarity decreased because of formal and procedural issues: the factory became hierarchical, work conditions deteriorated and the familiar spirit of the clan vanished. Research limitations/implications – There are more than 130 kibbutz factories, most of them in privatized kibbutzim. This paper presents only three of those factories, so it can only represent preliminary and partial findings. It is important to extend this research to examine other kibbutz factories. Practical implications – The research suggests how factories, in kibbutzim and throughout the world, could respond to weak organizational solidarity: to increase trust and cooperation between management, to create flexible working conditions and to achieve higher productivity. Originality/value – This is the first study to focus on kibbutz enterprises through the sociological lens of the solidarity theory. Previously, most post-privatization research has focussed on economic questions of profitability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-378
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • Employees
  • Human resource management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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