What future for codetermination and corporate governance in Germany?
Contrary to the prognosis derived from the variety of capitalism literature, since the mid-90s the significant restructuring of large German corporations in the direction of shareholder value seems to have been compatible with the persistence of a genuine configuration of industrial relations, including co-determination at the firm level. This article investigates whether this is a long lasting compatibility and tests various research programs in institutional economics and thus explores the consequences alternative hypotheses about institutional complementarity or hierarchy, comparative institutional analysis, comparative historical analysis, hybridization and finally régulation theory. Even if the process is highly uncertain, one major conclusion emerges: the old German model is probably irreversibly transformed and is evolving towards an unprecedented configuration, with only mild and distant relations to a typical liberal brand of capitalism.
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