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Changes in corporate governance of German corporations: convergence to the Anglo-American model?

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  • Christel Lane
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the many changes which have transformed the German system of corporate governance during the last seven odd years. It concludes that it is in the process of converging towards the Anglo-American system and that this has fundamentally affected the way strategic decisions are made in firms. Large, internationally oriented companies are particularly affected. But the notion of shareholder value and its many behavioural effects are gradually spreading also to other parts of the economy. Consequently, the distinctive logic, which had underpinned the German variety of capitalism during most of the post-war period, is eroding. This transformation is affecting also labour and industrial relations in negative ways. The argument is empirically substantiated with data about recent trends in capital markets, banks and firms. The paper theoretically examines institutional change, focussing on the notions of system logic and institutional complementarity. It examines both external sources of change and internal powerful actors who promote the process of transformation. The notion of hybridisation of the German business system is examined but is rejected in favour of a trend towards convergence. Convergence is not seen as a functional necessity, nor is it viewed as inevitable.

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    File URL: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/WP259.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp259.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp259

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    Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

    Related research

    Keywords: Corporate governance; capital markets; German variety of capitalism; institutional change.;

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    References

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    1. S. Deakin & R. Hobbs & S. Konzelmann & F. Wilkinson, 2001. "Partnership, Ownership and Control: The Impact of Corporate Governance on Employment Relations," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp200, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    2. Deeg, Richard, 2001. "Institutional change and the uses and limits of path dependency: The case of German finance," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    3. C Lane & S Quack, 2001. "How Banks Construct and Manage Risk: A Sociological Study of Small Firm Lending in Britain and Germany," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp217, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    4. Simon Deakin & Richard Hobbs & David Nash & Giles Slinger, 2002. "Implicit contracts, takeovers and corporate governance: in the shadow of the city code," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp254, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    5. Streeck, Wolfgang, 2001. "The transformation of corporate organization in Europe: An overview," MPIfG Working Paper 01/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christel Lane & Jocelyn Probert, 2003. "Globalisation and Its Impact on Competitiveness: the Case of the British and German Pharmaceutical Industry," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp262, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    2. Marlene Davies & Bernadette Schlitzer, 2008. "The impracticality of an international “one size fits all” corporate governance code of best practice," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(6), pages 532-544, July.
    3. Adegbite, Emmanuel & Amaeshi, Kenneth & Nakajima, Chizu, 2013. "Multiple influences on corporate governance practice in Nigeria: Agents, strategies and implications," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 524-538.

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