Academic essay - Business Ethics
In 1956, the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation, or MCC, made a small start in Basque region of Spain, at the initiative of five young engineers, inspired by a Catholic priest by the name of Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta. Today it has emerged as a truly multi-billion dollar international enterprise with a highly integrated network of 100 MCC cooperative enterprises and competes quite successfully with conventional capitalist corporations both locally and worldwide. The success of this alternative business model in predominantly capitalist system can be judged from the fact that today there are 750,000 co-operatives worldwide with about 760 million members. There is abundance of information and literature documenting the success of the Mondragon experiment and its comparative analysis with conventional capitalist corporations on various organisation aspects. This essay aims to put a special focus on position and treatment of two key stakeholders, shareholders and employees, while comparing MCC with General Motors (GM), a well renowned US corporation. This essay is structured into four sections: the first outlines the historical development and ethical foundation of the MCC in much abbreviated terms. The second section provides a generic and ideological comparison the two corporations. The third section adds granularity in similarities and contrasts with specific examples from MCC and GM. The fourth section aims to touch upon the ethical perspectives within the two corporations and critiques the approaches. Finally, Section five, concludes the essay by presenting key insights from the MCC experiment for corporations in 21st century.
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