Compensating international mobility in a workers' cooperative: An interpretative study Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2020


  • 5 (100975)


  • 55

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1090-9516

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-5573


  • This study uses an interpretive research design to analyze how worker-members in cooperatives understand and handle the challenge of designing a compensation system for their international workforce. The empirical study, conducted in a cooperative belonging to the Mondragon Corporation, reveals how such a challenge is understood as one of finding a system that combines international business performance with the need to uphold and maintain the cooperative's identity. Drawing on that understanding, the cooperative adopts a number of management decisions and criteria for the distribution of rewards and the justification of unequal working conditions among its international assignees that are very different to the mainstream ones in conventional firms. The study's findings are an invitation to question many of the traditional theoretical assumptions and practices involved in global compensation, prompting the need to develop theories and research initiatives in this field that are more in keeping with the needs and characteristics of social enterprises.


  • Business
  • Economics


  • social enterprises; expatriation; international compensation; interpretive studies; workers’ cooperatives