Joyce Rothschild, Virginia Tech

Pushing the Organizational Envelope: Can Cooperative Organizations Thrive in a Digital Era?
Joyce Rothschild


Fall 2017
Lecture Time: 
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 
R0220 Ross School of Business
Introduced By: 
Kathryn Gabriele

Additional Notes

Dr. Joyce Rothschild is Professor of Sociology in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her research and scholarship focus on two main subjects: (1) the nature, history and potential for cooperative relations and organizational democracy both in the community and in the workplace; and (2) assaults on the free speech rights of whistleblowers. In both cases, she is primarily concerned with building a solid foundation for actual voice and democratic control in our society and in organizations. She is widely published on both of these, with over 30 articles in academic journals and 7 edited or authored book volumes, and her research has been widely cited among scholars and has been featured as well in many popular magazines and newspapers. Her book (with J. Allen Whitt), The Cooperative Workplace: Potentials and Dilemmas of Organizational Democracy and Participation (Cambridge University Press), won the 1987 C. Wright Mills book award. In it, she proposes and develops a post-Weberian model of organization, the collectivist-democratic organization, that arises from a fourth and new principle of legitimacy that she argues is emergent in a knowledge-based economy and society. Grounded in field work in collectives and cooperatives, she describes why these organizations reject bureaucratic practices, what sorts of practices they create to replace hierarchal forms, and proposes nine specific conditions that allow such enterprises to thrive. She can be reached at

Reading List

Rothschild, J. (2016), The Logic of A Co-Operative Economy and Democracy 2.0: Recovering the Possibilities for Autonomy, Creativity, Solidarity, and Common Purpose. The Soc. Quar., 57: 7–35. doi:10.1111/tsq.12138