Who we are

Launched in 2019, Ownership at Work (OAW) is an independent charitable think tank. 

OAW’s mission is to promote greater understanding of the role industrial democracy and employee ownership can play in the UK economy. We focus on the social and economic impact of sharing meaningful ownership and participation with employees and workers in organisations of all kinds.

We have four strategic objectives: 

1. To generate evidence of the outcomes and impact of employee and worker ownership across economic, social and environmental measures

2. To generate fresh thinking and new ideas based on insights from employee and worker ownership

3. To generate data and insight to support best practice in employee and worker owned organisations

4. To apply insights and ideas to support a fair and inclusive economy in which more individuals have the opportunity to share ownership and participation in their organisations

OAW is a research partner to the Employee Ownership Association, and works closely with Co-operatives UK and other organisations interested in promoting understanding of shared ownership models.   

Campbell McDonald
Chief Executive

In November 2020, OAW appointed Campbell McDonald as its first Chief Executive. Campbell has worked in the Employee Ownership (EO) sector for 14 years and was a Trustee at OAW before taking on this role: 

“The UK needs employee ownership now more than ever. Employee and worker ownership can help drive the explosion of productivity we need to support economic recovery. Just as important is the powerful wider social impact these firms have, doing more to address financial security and income inequality, promoting employee wellbeing and personal development, and typically retaining social as well as economic value in local communities.”


OAW is a registered charity with a Board of five Trustee Directors. All are highly respected individuals with strong track records in the EO sector, including Chair Ann Tyler and EOA Chief Exec Deb Oxley. 

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Our OAW Fellows help ensure our research programme is always highly relevant and addresses critical challenges for employees, businesses and policy-makers. Fellows are all leaders in their fields, from inside the EO sector and beyond. 

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advisory board 

We are privileged to have three highly esteemed public figures on our Advisory Board: Sir Charlie Mayfield, Will Hutton and Sacha Romanovitch. All bring the weight of their insight, intellect and experience to support OAW to achieve its ambition. Read more…