Open accesscreativecommonsPeer reviewed/Research article
Published online: June 2023

Stakeholder theory approach to personal support work: A case study of a home care workers’ co‑operative

Simon BergeORCID and Koudima BokoumboORCID

Vol 56 No. 1, pp. 5-16

How to cite this article: Berge, S. & Bokoumbo, K. (2023). Stakeholder theory approach to personal support work: A case study of a home care workers’ co-operative. Journal of Co-operative Studies, 56(1), 5-16.


Canada’s ageing population relies on an eldercare system focused on a shareholder, for-profit, institutional approach that considers caregivers as labourers and expenses. As a result, personal support workers (PSWs) are leaving the care sector due to poor pay, erratic work hours and poor working environments created by long-term care facilities reducing costs to improve profit margins. This paper will examine the empowerment of the PSW stakeholder group through a co-operative organisational model focused on stakeholder management. In response to poor working conditions, a group of PSWs established a worker co-operative focused on home-based eldercare and the improvement of PSW working conditions. This exploratory case study will consist of documentary analysis and a survey. The results compare the workers’ experiences to an earlier survey of PSWs, suggesting that the co-operative model allows for greater empowerment and engagement of the workers. The paper concludes by considering the practical implications for healthcare delivery.



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