If indeed, as the kurzarbeit evidence from Germany suggests, work sharing or other methods of reducing work hours during a recession preserves jobs, then it should be of interest what sorts of economic systems and organizations might lead to more of this. One form that has long been suggested as having this character is worker managed and worker owned firms, more conventionally called "cooperatives." The literature on this is simply huge, and a good summary can be found in John P. Bonin, Derek C. Jones, and Louis Putterman, "Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Producer Cooperatives: Will Ever the Twain Meet?" Journal of Economic Literature, 1991, 31, pp. 1290-1320. Indeed, in such enterprises owner-manager-workers are more likely to share the pain of a fall in demand by a shared cutback. These firms also tend to show greater short-term productive efficiency through flatter managerial hierarchies and the worker-owners monitoring each other for shirking.
The literature also cites possible disadvantages, perhaps a tendency to be reluctant to hire more worker-owners, possible tendencies to engage in ignoring externalities and trying to gain monopoley power, and so on. With a few exceptions, such as the Mondragon cooperatives, these firms rarely become very large, with financing a big issue. A few countries have tried to encourage them, but by and large they remain scarce in most economies, a vision, but not much of a widespread reality.