Creating a company to change the world

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Chairman and managing director, Ambiance Bois

Seminar Social life | Thursday September 19, 2002

Created in 1988 by Parisians in the area known as the plateau de Millevaches, the Ambiance Bois saw-and-planing mill sets itself apart by its original legal status and the original way in which it works. The management of this company (operating with workers' financial participation) is collective and decisions are taken by consensus. Each of the nineteen employees takes part in unrewarding tasks of equipment handling and everyone has one foot in the office and one foot in the workshop. Everyone has an equal salary and a large part of the salary is put into a pool. This company is doing well with a turnover of six hundred thousand Euros (four million Francs). It deliberately restricts its development in order to retain control of the company and makes sure that its employees have enough time to devote to their families, to associations, and to local development. Fourteen years after its creation, has this company helped to 'change the world' as it had initially hoped ?

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This session was published in issue n°39 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Le profit n'est pas tout.

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