Power and communication in worker cooperatives: An overview
Technical communication research has critically engaged with organizational trends toward flattened organizations like networks, horizontal arrangements, and adhocracies, assemblages that hybridize top-down management in favor of autonomous groups. There has been no engagement with a related but distinct trend: worker cooperatives. Co-ops promise similar advantages but are distinct as they claim to deliver what flat organizations promise: access to governance, empowerment, and autonomy. In this article, I survey literature on flattened organizations, apply technical communication theory to account for cooperative communication, and conclude with an analysis from a qualitative study at a cooperative site.