The Challenges of Horizontal Governance: The Case of Workers Recovered Enterprises in Argentina

Presented by Celeste Osses, Recipient of the 2020 Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies

Faced with the loss of their jobs as a result of recurring financial and economic crises during the 1990s and into the new millenium, Argentinian workers took matters into their own hands by experimenting with a new type of co-operative called Workers Recovered Enterprises (WRE). Under this model, workers take over bankrupt companies but instead of relying strictly on outside managers to run the business, the workers help manage and govern the business themselves through a horizontal or flat structure. The movement was further motivated by the principles of solidarity, shared returns, and providing an alternative to neoliberal economic policy. Thanks to changes in Argentina’s bankruptcy legislation, the WRE movement grew quickly and saw approximately 190 businesses reclaimed by over ten thousand workers. This research aims to explore the tension between collective decision-making and the market economy pressure for efficiency, to ultimately detect factors that impact horizontal governance sustainability.

Event Details

When: November 17, 2021

Time:  2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST

Location: This lecture will be available via Zoom. Please register via the link provided and connection details will be sent by email.

File: Download Event Poster

About our speaker, Celeste Osses

Celeste Osses is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Administration program at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. She previously completed her undergraduate degree in business administration at Universidad Nacional del Comahue in Neuquen, Argentina. Celeste’s research focus is on Argentina’s Workers-Recovered Enterprise movement, where worker-owned co-operatives were created to reclaim failing or bankrupt businesses as a way to ensure employment and push for self-management.

About the Fredeen Lecture

The Fredeen Lecture is hosted annually and features the research of the most recent recipient of the Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies. This scholarship is offered annually to a student who is conducting research on co-operatives, either entering or continuing studies in a master's or doctoral program at the University of Saskatchewan. Click here to learn more about the Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies.