Employee roles in governance: contrasting the UK and German experience

Timothy J. Lewis (Regional General Manager at Robinia Calc. Tel: 01283 820790, Fax: 01283 820411, E‐mail: Tim.Lewis@Robinia.co.uk)
Silke Machold (Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton, Telford, UK. Tel: +44 1902 323921, Fax: +44 1902 323878)
David Oxtoby (Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton, Telford, UK. Tel: +44 1902 323921, Fax: +44 1902 323878)
P.K. Ahmed (Professor at Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton, Telford, UK. Tel: +44 1902 323921, Fax: +44 1902 323878, E‐mail: pkahmed@wlv.ac.uk)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

The paper examines the role of employees in governance. The paper highlights from a theory basis that employee and shareholder utilities can be coincident. However, it shows that corporate practice with respect to employee involvement in governance and decision‐making is diverse. The paper draws out the contrast in approaches between the Anglo‐American and the German approach to employees by detailing differences in employee power, career patterns, ownership patterns and legal obligations. These lead to enactment of a different structural and cultural governance systems; which are encapsulated in the unitary board structure of the UK and the two‐tier German approach. The strengths and limitations of the unitary board and two‐tier boards are highlighted, and the case for convergence examined.

Keywords

Citation

Lewis, T., Machold, S., Oxtoby, D. and Ahmed, P. (2004), "Employee roles in governance: contrasting the UK and German experience", Corporate Governance, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 16-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/1472700410558853

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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