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Peter Cox: Spedan's Partnership

In 2008 the domino collapse of national banks reminded us how flawed a free-market economy can be. It is vulnerable to abuse on a colossal scale, because stakeholders rarely have the power to check excesses. But what if the stakeholders are not outside shareholders but the company's own workforce? A hundred years ago a young man decided the family business would do better if its profits were shared with its 300 employees. This book tells the story of Spedan Lewis's inspired idea. How, after a faltering start, the John Lewis Partnership became the successful and admired retailer it is today. One that has for the last fifty years paid on average a bonus of eight weeks' pay each year to every employee – and there are now 70,000, all Partners in a co-owned business.

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