Mondragón Cooperatives Collection

Biographical / Historical Note

Mondragón Cooperatives are the most well-known example of the Basque Cooperative Movement in Spain; today Mondragón is a cooperative that has 147 companies employing 80,000 workers; founded in 1956 by a Catholic priest José Maria Arizmendiarrieta (1915-1976) according to the principle that companies are best run when workers are their owners and participate in management decisions; the four major areas of involvement include industry, commerce, finance, and services; the workers, also members of the cooperative, own a share of their company, elect their managers, and participate in all major decisions; a sense of identity among the workers with the company is combined with solidarity and collegiality among them.

The Dutch author Henk Thomas, who donated these materials to the IISH, wrote together with Chris Logan the book Mondragon An Economic Analysis, published in 1982; this book summarizes the history and organization of the Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa and its predecessors, and makes an in-depth analysis of its economic and financial aspects, such as the economic performance of the cooperative factories, the distribution of earnings and surplus, and the incentives that can be derived from worker-ownership.

Custodial History

The collection was donated in 2014 to the IISH by Henk Thomas, the Dutch researcher who published on Mondragón.


Annual reports of the Caja Laboral Popular (CLP) 1968-1985; annual reports of the Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC) 1992-2001; articles and working materials, including a survey among members of the Mondragón cooperatives, relating to the research by Henk Thomas and Chris Logan 1976-1999; reviews of Mondragon: An Economic Analysis 1982-1984; articles and other documents relating to research by others on Mondragón 1973-2002; about 300 slides on 'The Mondragón Cooperatives' n.d.

Processing Information

List made by Bouwe Hijma in 2015, also by the same the 2018 accrual.