In 2015, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation engaged the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, to conduct a qualitative study examining the asset building impacts of employee ownership for low- and moderate-income employees and their families. Its purpose was to provide insight into the role of employee ownership in supporting employees’ asset/wealth accumulation, and related issues of financial security, economic mobility, and family impact. The research team conducted interviews with long-tenured employees having low-to moderate-incomes at companies with ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans), or having started at their firms with low incomes. This is the largest qualitative, individual interview-based study of this employee population ever conducted in the United States. An ESOP is a retirement plan that invests in stock in the company where the employee works. Typically, companies use credit to purchase stock on behalf of employees with the company repaying the loan and without employees’ purchase of the stock with their wages, savings, or retirement assets. We sought to study employee examples across race, gender, ethnicity, age, sector and geography in the United States. Quantitative data from the U.S. General Social Survey and prior studies were reviewed.

Research Team and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellows

  • Daphne Berry - University of Hartford
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Teresa Boyer - Villanova University
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow 
  • Mark Kaswan - University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Joan Meyers - California Polytechnic - San Luis Obispo
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Lisa Schur - Rutgers University
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Alex Becker - Northwestern University School of Law
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Janet Boguslaw - Brandeis University
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Glenda Gracia-Rivera - Rutgers University
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Jung Ook Kim - Rutgers University
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Sanjay Pinto - Rutgers University
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Carol Stack - Emeritus, University of California Berkeley
         W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Project Officer

  • Jeanne Wardford

    Co-Principal Investigators

  • Joseph Blasi - Rutgers University
  • Douglas Kruse - Rutgers University


  • Project Manager: Glenda Gracia-Rivera - Rutgers University, Center for Women and Work
  • Administrative Coordinator: Elizabeth Schriefer - Rutgers University
  • Grant Manager: Katarzyna Proszowski - Rutgers University
  • Research Support and Report Design: Sylvia Stewart 
  • Research Assistants: Anna Mahathey, Alexis Mann, Elizabeth Olsen 

Final Report

Rutgers Kellogg Report

Press Release

Rutgers Kellogg Report Press Release