The purpose of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing is to study the various models that have emerged and will emerge of employee ownership shares and profit shares in the corporation and society of the United States and around the world. The Institute will study approaches that broaden financial participation and inclusion in the economy and business organizations, and allow employees to be fully engaged and share the rewards of their work.  


The Institute studies the incidence, functioning, benefits, and costs of a wide variety of models of employee share ownership and profit sharing. It makes both empirical datasets and qualitative case studies widely available for education and research. Three notable books by Institute scholars are The Citizen’s Share: Reducing Inequality in the 21st CenturyShared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing and Broad-based Stock Options; and In The Company of Owners, which is about equity compensation in the 100 hundred high tech start-up corporations that pioneered the Internet. The Institute's Shares Laboratory is the nation’s first academic research initiative dedicated to empirical research employee equity compensation and employee equity ownership in corporations. Short Research Briefs summarizing Institute research are available and regularly updated. The Institute sponsors video Fireside Chats with significant thought leaders on employee equity ownership and profit sharing.

The Institute encourages the work of scholars through the J. Robert Beyster Professorship and a national competitive Fellowship Program. The Fellowship Program includes both senior scholars and recognized experts as Faculty Fellows and Mentors, Executive Fellows, and Senior Fellows. View a directory of all Institute Fellows since 2008.

The Institute convenes the two largest scholarly conferences in the country and the world on these issues, The Beyster Symposium and the Mid-Year Workshop in Honor of Louis O. Kelso. The newest scholarly conference is The Future of Equity: Silicon Valley Employee Ownership Symposium that will take place every summer in June in San Jose, California. The Institute also co-sponsors the international Rutgers–Oxford Research Symposium, offered for the first time in September 2023, and hosts the annual Private Equity & Employee Share Ownership Symposium.

The Institute develops and disseminates educational materials to encourage graduate and undergraduate education at Rutgers and other colleges through the Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership

The Institute makes available the film, We The Owners, along with related teaching materials, to assist educators with educational material for students.

The Institute has a NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership that provides technical assistance, executive, professional, and employee education to businesses and individuals exploring employee share ownership. It is affiliated with the non-profit National Center for Employee Ownership.

The institute conducts research on employee ownership. It has recently launched the National ESOP Employee Survey Project that will build a database of about 10,000 employee surveys of ESOP workers in 10-20 companies across the country. ESOP firms of all sizes and industries are invited to participate, and in return will receive an individual report on their company at no cost.

The Institute sponsors a Working Paper Series that is designed to offer new research by Fellows and Guest Scholars at the Institute. These are circulated for discussion and comment on a more timely basis than the review process of typical academic journals. The papers have not undergone a peer review although they have been presented in conferences for initial comment by scholars.

Research Fellows of the institute serve as the Editors and Associate Editors of the academic Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership of Emerald Publishing.

New Online Course
Our Share: Employee Ownership as a Wealth Sharing Tool

The Institute has launched its first online course on the Coursera platform. Developed by the Institute’s Director of Education and Collaboration, Adria Scharf, Our Share: Employee Ownership as a Wealth Sharing Tool uses a series of short, engaging videos to introduce the basics of employee share ownership. 

The free course explores what the research shows about how employee ownership can share wealth and profits with employees while making businesses more productive. Students also hear from the founders of two employee-owned companies, who explain why they made their companies employee-owned and the steps involved in the process.  

> Explore the course and enroll


The Institute's programs are supported by major grants from the J. Robert Beyster Endowment at Rutgers, Mary Ann Beyster and the Beyster Foundation for Enterprise Development, the Employee Ownership Foundation, the Joseph Cabral Endowment, Carta.com, Citi Community Development, Elias Foundation, Google.org, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, John Menke of Menke and Associates, the Open Society Foundations, the Abby Rockefeller Endowment, and Wawa Inc.

The original research project that became the basis for the establishment of the Institute's research program, the Shared Capitalism Research Project, was funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation. This research is the subject of the book, Shared Capitalism at Work (Cambridge and Chicago: University of Chicago Press and National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011).

Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership (CLEO)

Image of CLEO Homepage

CLEO is the largest global online library on employee ownership and includes more than 700 materials (e.g. videos, cases, syllabi, teaching modules, and reading collections) on a broad range of topics on employee ownership.

We the Owners: The Film

image of We the Owners film poster

What does it mean to have employee share ownership? In the documentary film We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream, employee owners from New Belgium Brewing, Namasté Solar and DPR Construction answer this important question.