The psychology of ownership and worker-owner productivity

Jon L. Pierce, Loren Rodgers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The theoretical and empirical linkages between employee ownership and performance are reviewed. In response to the inconsistent and inconclusive findings of a simple ownership-performance relationship, the authors revisit the conceptualization of ownership and ask how does ownership produce its performance effects. The study offers a "psychology of ownership" perspective on employee ownership, suggesting that ownership be thought of as a dual creation - part an objective and part a psychological state. In response to the question "how" does ownership produce its performance effects, a detailed model is presented that depicts a within-individual, self-esteem-based motivational effect explanation for the ownership-performance relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-613
Number of pages26
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Employee ownership
  • Organization-based self-esteem
  • Productivity/performance
  • Psychological ownership


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