Publications

Much of Geof Cox's recent published work can be downloaded - often free of charge - from the following websites

 

Are You Ready for a Brand New Beat? - The Musician's Union Guide to Music Co-operatives
This was published by the Musician's Union in 1996 to make available the experience and documents developed in the establishment of the exemplary North East Music Co-operative
My work on this inspired a number of other musician's co-ops, among them the Swindon Music Co-operative, led by David Barnard, who has subsequently (2015) updated and improved the guide with my support.

Download from The Musician's Union

 

 

The Extra Elements 2005 (revised edition 2012)
A practical manual covering the aspects of business planing that are unique to social enterprises for people with disabilities. Edited and co-authored by Geof Cox with contributions from Mark Powell and Kevin Robbie. You can pay for a printed version of the whole manual, but download each separate element free of charge.

Download ELEMENT A - What is a Social Firm? by Geof Cox

Download ELEMENT C - Developing the right organisational structure for a Social Firm by Geof Cox

 

 

The Template Social Firm Share Community Interest Company 2008 (revised edition 2010)
This template legal structure for Social Firms takes the relatively unusual form of a share community interest company. More than three quarters of community interest companies take the guarantee company form, but it is the share community interest company that has the potential to open up the full range of both commercial and charitable funding sources, as well as enabling employees to participate financially in the success of their Social Firms. This is an important example constitution because it contains notes on the whys and wherefores of community interest company design, and detailed instructions on how to actually establish a community interest company. Most of this accompanying information is applicable to any social enterprise, though some specific objects, equal opportunities, and other details of the structure do relate specifically to a social enterprise that will employ people with disabilities. Also available is a wordprocessable constitution, which should enable you to set up a simple Social Firm community interest company without any expert help - though without training/advice we can't guarantee it will be the best solution for your aims and circumstances.

Download from Social Firms UK

 

 

The Template Social Firm Guarantee Company 2004 (revised edition 2010)
This example constitution contains notes on the whys and wherefores of company design, and detailed instructions on how to actually establish a company. Most of this accompanying information is applicable to any social enterprise, though some specific objects, equal opportunities, and other details of the structure do relate specifically to a social enterprise that will employ people with disabilities. Also available is a wordprocessable constitution, which should enable you to set up a simple social firm company without any expert help - though without training/advice we can't guarantee it will be the best solution for your aims and circumstances.

Download from Social Firms UK

 

 

Key Issues 4 : Social Firms 2009
This is we think currently the best available summary of the evidence for and against the Social Firms model. It is a 'warts and all' study for Research in Practice for Adults, which works to promote evidence-based commissioning in adult social care. RIPFA is part of the Dartington group - an international centre for the generation and application of new ideas - many of which are central to social enterprise. The new Social Firms study is part of RIPFA's Key Issues series, which addresses topics where the evidence-base is currently under-developed, but where practitioners and managers still need to access objective information to help inform their practice. The series also includes guides to outcome based commissioning, support brokerage, and joint strategic needs assessment.

Download free from RIPFA

 

 

Bringing Social Firms Out Of Public Authorities 2006
This guide actually provides a road map for any public sector service or department that wants to 'float off' as an independent social enterprise. It does obviously cover the special features of work training and simulation activities for disabled people, but much of the content explains general issues such as setting up an external organisation and the transfer of staff and assets that are common to any externalisation.

Download from Social Firms UK

 

 

A Guide to Charities Starting Social Firms 2006
A step-by-step guide aimed principally at disability charities about to establish or 'float-off' a trading activity as a subsidiary or linked company. Many of the issues, however, are relevant to any charity developing a trading activity or subsidiary company. The guide focuses on the legal and technical aspects of the work and addresses such questions as:

  • can a trading activity be carried on as part of the charity, or should it be floated off, for instance in a subsidiary or linked company?
  • how is running a social enterprise different from running a charity?
  • what support can the charity offer - in cash or in kind - to a subsidiary or linked social enterprise?
  • can a charity transfer its own assets and staff to a social enterprise, and if so, how?

Download from Social Firms UK

 

 

Organisational Structures for Social Enterprise: Towards a Development Methodology
Paper delivered to the Social Enterprise Research Conference 2006. This paper argues that the world of organisational structure development is full of myths and half-truths; that all parties to the development of structures - enterprise founders, local solicitors or advisers - lack any clear organisational structure development methodology, or the right knowledge, examples and other tools to structure information, discussion or advice to make it meaningful. However, there have been some attempts to develop a clear discussion and development process which can take an individual or group from their broad vision and business planning through a series of logical steps to the right structure for them, and these are summarised and developed in this paper. It is further suggested that a written methodology based on this work, with supporting case studies and background materials could, in future, in the hands of a network of selected regional facilitators, provide a properly structured organisational development process for social enterprises.

Available as a free download from London South Bank University Centre for Government and Charity Management (scroll to the bottom of the page).

 

 

Cooperative Social Firms Research Report 2005
Social Firms UK commissioned this report to explore how and why Social Firms choose particular organisational structures, and in particular, why so few Social Firms actually choose to set up as co-operatives. It also looks at whether and how the legal/financial environment and other relevant factors, such as advice and models available, might be changed to make the choice of organisational structures a more transparent and effective process.

Download from Social Firms UK or Co-operativesUK

 

 

What’s Next for Industrial Relations Reform - Restructuring the Corporation
The principal authors of this paper are Australian academics Paul Gollan and Anthony Jensen. Geof Cox contributed material on UK and EU company law. Available as part of a set of occasional papers from the Social Enterprise Research Conference 2005, price £15.00, from The Open University

 

 

Social Enterprise & Intellectual Property: Ideas from the Open Source Movement
This paper places intellectual property law in the context of 'anti-globalisation' politics and competing ideas around private and 'civil' ownership of such discoveries as gene sequences and medicines. It then looks at the dilemmas around intellectual property for social enterprise, and the lessons that may be provided by the open source software movement. How can the legal instruments and business models of 'open source' be applied to social enterprise to help reconcile the tension between private and public wealth creation?

Available as part of a set of 27 occasional papers from the Social Enterprise Research Conference 2004, price £15.00, from The Open University

 

 Buyouts Guide

Delivering Community & Employee Buyouts 2003
A practical guide for staff and/or a local community - or their advisers - who want to buy a business from the existing owners, for example on their retirement. Co-authored with Gareth Nash of CMS and Chris Billington of Wrigleys Solicitors. The guide focuses on the legal and technical aspects of the work and addresses such questions as:

  • assessing whether the business is viable
  • establishing the right legal/financial structure
  • raising finance

Download from Co-operativesUK

 

 

Legal/Financial Structures for Social Firms 2002
This guide is a little out of date now and much the same ground is covered more recently in Developing The Right Organisational Structure For A Social Firm - Element C of The Extra Elements.

 

 

Turnarounds
A practical step-by-step guide to converting busnesses into co-operatives and other forms of democratic business. Published by The Open University in 1995 but now sadly out of print - however, some of the material was updated in 2003 for Delivering Community & Employee Buyouts

 

 

Literary Pragmatics
Literature & History 12:1 1986. This is the only publication worth mentioning from Geof Cox's former life as an academic; interestingly, though, it explores the relationship between commercial and aesthetic factors in shaping artistic reputation - using the example of Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby - which does connect closely with recent work on business aspects of the arts. For a brief summary see p.4-5 of The Foreign Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1980-2000 by Linda Stanley.