Marcelo Vieta social researcher


More about my most recent research, writing, and organizing activities.

most recent work

My post-doctoral research at EURICSE, which will continue for the next few years, has me developing a cross-national research program aimed at assessing the conversion of investor-owned businesses into labour-managed firms. The research program, entitled Recuperating Enterprises, Reviving Communities: A Cross-National Study of Conversions of Investor-Owned Businesses into Labour-Managed Firms, seeks to gather and engage with quantitative, econometric, and survey data; political economic analysis; and qualitative sociological, ethnographic, case study, and interview-based evidence on these worker-recuperated firms. The interdisciplinary approach of this research program will enable us to eventually compare and contrast different national and regional experiences of workplace conversions. Working with Prof. Carlo Borzaga and key players in the Italian and European cooperative sectors (i.e., Legacoop, Cooperazione Finanza Imprese, CECOP-CICOPA Europe, and others), we hope to uncover the particular socio-economic, regional, legal, organizational, and workplace dynamics that facilitate or hinder these conversions. Moreover, we hope to develop a growing network of international researchers from other parts of the world that have experience with workplace conversions into worker coops in order to further our understanding of labour-managed and worker-controlled firms that emerge from proprietary businesses in trouble or without clear succession plans. Our aims with the project are, ultimately, to be able to contribute both to theories of member-owned businesses and worker cooperatives, as well as to policy initiatives for fostering the development of these firms, especially in these times of global economic crises.

In addition, I am currently involved with two Canadian-based research initiatives. The Raising Job Standards: Economic Growth, Employment Generation, and Inclusive Development in Latin America project is a new research program I am working on with York University’s Prof. Viviana Patroni (Director, International Development Studies) and the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC). In collaboration with the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), the University of Buenos Aires, and other university and social economy research partners in Mexico, the US, and Colombia, we are brining together a research network that will investigate the links between Latin American development, economic growth, the quality of formal and informal jobs emerging in recent years, and new social economy alternatives in the region. In late 2012 I was also hired as a research consultant by the Canadian Co-operative Association and the Measuring the Cooperative Difference SSHRC-CURA research network in order to evaluate the Canadian Co-operative Development Initiative’s (CDI) legacy over the past ten years.

In recent years, I have published articles and book chapters on the social economy and alternative economics, cooperatives, worker coops, Argentina’s worker-recuperated enterprises, the sociology of work and labour, critical theories of technology, computer-mediated communication, and Internet studies. Some of these writings can be found in the following academic journals and critical magazines: Labor Studies Journal, a special issue on “Social Movement Learning” for Studies in the Education of Adults, ANSER Journal, Explorations in Media Ecology, Strategies of Critique, Iowa Journal of Communication, Infoamerica, Comunicar, ZNet, ZNet Italy, and New Socialist. I was also guest-editor for a special issue on “The New Cooperativism” for Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action. Forthcoming papers I have written or co-authored on critical theory, social movements and critical development, the social economy, the sociology of worker cooperatives, and the philosophy of technology will appear soon in: Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy, ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, Philosophy & Technology, and Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, amongst others. Several book chapters I have recently written or co-written on alternative economic organizations have or will soon appear in: Palgrave Handbook on Volunteering and Non-Profit Associations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization (Routledge, 2013); Businesses with a Difference: Balancing the Social and the Economic (University of Toronto Press, 2012); Alternative Work Organization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); and Co-Operatives in a Global Economy: The Challenges of Co-Operation Across Borders (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009).

Since 2006 I have been collaborating with a team of anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists doing work with and research on Argentina’s worker-recuperated enterprises at the Programa Facultad Abierta, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires. In August of 2009, the Programa Facultad Abierta team (who also run the Centro de Documentation de Empresas Recuperadas out of the worker-recuperated graphics shop Chilavert) came out with a collaboratively written book on the empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (worker-recuperated enterprises, or ERT) phenomenon in Argentina and Latin America entitled Las empresas recuperadas: Autogestón obrera en Argentina y América Latina (The Recuperated Enterprises: Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina in Latin America), published by the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras (UBA) press. I have two chapters in this book, one on the the ERTs as worker cooperatives and the other on the social innovations of ERTs. With this team, I have helped organize three conferences on self-management and the workers’ economy: The First International Gathering of the Workers’ Economy: Self-Management and the Distribution of Wealth in Jul. of 2007 in Buenos Aires; The Second International Gather of the Workers’ Economy: Work and Self-Management in Times of Global Crisis in Aug. of 2009 in Buenos Aires; and The Third International Gathering of the Workers’ Economy: Analyzing and Debating a New Economy from the Perspective of Workers’ and Self-Management in Jun. 2011 in Mexico City. We are planning a Fourth International Gathering in Brazil in Jul. 2013.

I have also engaged in many educational activities, conferences, and as invited lecturer in Argentina, Canada, Cuba, the UK, Italy, and the US.

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