In general, expectations have a major effect on organizational performance. Expectations of positive results motivate employees to outperform their peers in non-ownership companies. Alternatively, as a recent study concluded: "The result of inflated expectations... are significant negative outcomes: turnover (as high as 60%), low satisfaction, and a lack of organizational commitment."  Many companies fail to meet employees' expectations about ownership and then find that ownership becomes a disappointment.
On the other hand, meeting these expectations may be impossible. One researcher found that employees' desired level of participation generally exceeds their perceived level of participation.  Employees may have concepts of ownership that are more appropriate to direct ownership of a concrete asset, such as a car or a house, than to the complex web of responsibilities in a modern company's management and governance structure.
Unfortunately, even in companies where non-management employees have realistic expectations for their role in decision making, expectations on the part of middle managers and supervisors can still be a challenge. Worries, often legitimate, about what employees expect from ownership may cause middle managers to be a source of resistance to employee-ownership.
 Buckley, M. Ronald, Donald Fedor, John Veres, Danielle Wiese, Shawn Carraher. 1998. "Investigating Newcomer Expectations and Job-Related Outcomes," Journal of Applied Psychology, American Psychological Association, Vol. 83, No. 3, p. 453.
 Rosen, Corey, Katherine J. Klein, Karen M. Young. 1986. Employee Ownership in America: The Equity Solution. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.