Carris Companies' Practice of Employee Governance

Published in the Journal of Corporate Citizenship
by Greenleaf Publishing
Issue 6, Summer, 2002, p. 87
by Cecile G. Betit, PhD
Independent Researcher

This article was published in Issue 6 of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship.

Read the complete article (25 pages, 374 KB PDF file), or read the abstract below.

Distinguishing the Carris Companies’ transition to 100% employee ownership was its more unusual movement towards 100% employee governance. In 2001, employees shared 43.2% corporate ownership within an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). An ESOP is a form of worker ownership and deferred benefit plan recognised within the United States legal code. William H. (Bill) Carris, visionary CEO of this privately held company, described in his Long Term Plan (1994) unique goals that he had for corporate governance and the transfer of ownership, rights and responsibilities to the employees--in effect instituting the practice of governance. ‘Taking a practice-based stakeholder view... significantly alters the approach to the firm and its responsibilities, broadening the understanding of those to whom a firm is accountable. It moves the conversation... toward the quality and nature of the relationships that companies develop with stakeholders and the assessment of the impacts of corporate activities on those stakeholders’ (Waddock 2002: 9). This paper examines the Carris Companies’ practice of governance and the process used to prepare stakeholder citizens for their changing roles and relationships.

[WebEditor's note: This article includes a description of the Carris Companies' use of OA services, including the Ownership Culture Survey™ and Frontiers and Boundaries.]

Read the complete article (25 pages, 374 KB PDF file), or read the abstract above.

Contact Cecile G. Betit, PhD, at

P.O. Box 272
East Wallingford, VT 05742

For questions about the Carris Community of Companies, contact Karin McGrath, Human Resources Manager, at 802-773-9111, or by email at

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