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Institutionnalisation des régimes de gouvernance et rôle des institutions socles:le cas de la cogestion allemande


Author Info

  • Pierre-Yves Gomez

    (EM Lyon - Institut Français de Gouvernement des Entreprises)

  • Peter Wirtz

    (Université Lumière (Lyon 2) – COACTIS (EA 4161) et IFGE)


(VF)L’un des traits distinctifs du système de gouvernance à l’allemande est la représentation paritaire des salariés au sein des conseils de surveillance des grandes entreprises. Souvent considérée comme «culturellement» allemande, le présent article montre cependant qu’une supposée «tradition allemande» de cogestion relève du mythe. Le régime de gouvernance allemand est plutôt le fruit du contexte politique et institutionnel dramatique de la fin des années 1940 qui a vu des luttes et la mobilisation des acteurs politiques, économiques et syndicaux. Pour expliquer qu’un consensus institutionnel sur la cogestion ait finalement eu lieu en Allemagne dans une période de chaos institutionnel, nous montrons le rôle méconnu joué par l’Église catholique allemande. À la fois étrangère par nature à la question du gouvernement des entreprises, mais fortement impliquée dans les réflexions sur l’organisation du pouvoir économique avant et après la seconde guerre mondiale, elle a constitué une «institution socle» à partir de laquelle les effets de mobilisation ont pu générer un consensus sur la cogestion, qui s’est s’institutionnalisé dans le modèle dual paritaire, considéré depuis comme «typiquement germanique».(VA) Codetermined supervisory boards with half of the directors representing employees are one of the distinctive features of the German corporate governance system. This is often supposed to be rooted in typically “German culture”. The present contribution reveals however that this supposedly “German tradition” is a myth. The specific regime of codetermined supervisory boards is rather the outcome of the dramatic political and institutional circumstances of the late nineteen-forties, having witnessed a fierce fight and the mobilization of various actors ranging from politicians and industrialists to trade unionists. On the way to an institutional consensus, the German catholic church played a significant, albeit seldom recognized, role. It acted as a “base institution” positively influencing the efforts of mobilization in favor of board codetermination and making an agreement possible.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations in its series Working Papers CREGO with number 1080601.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dij:wpfarg:1080601

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Postal: 2 Bd Gabriel, BP 26611, 21066 Dijon Cedex, France

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Postal: Angèle Renaud, CREGO, 2 Bd Gabriel, BP 26611, 21066 Dijon Cedex, France

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Keywords: cogestion; mobilisation; institution socle; Eglise catholique; codetermination; mobilization; base institution; catholic church.;

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  1. McCahery, Joseph A. & Moerland, Piet & Raaijmakers, Theo & Renneboog, Luc (ed.), 2002. "Corporate Governance Regimes: Convergence and Diversity," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247875, September.
  2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Schleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2001. "Investor Protection and Corporate Governance," Working Paper Series rwp01-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Mary O'Sullivan, 1998. "The Political Economy of Corporate Governance in Germany," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_226, Levy Economics Institute.
  5. Mary O'Sullivan, 1998. "The Political Economy of Corporate Governance in Germany," Macroeconomics 9805004, EconWPA.
  6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  8. O'Sullivan, Mary, 2001. "Contests for Corporate Control: Corporate Governance and Economic Performance in the United States and Germany," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244867, September.
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Cited by:
  1. de Vaujany, François-Xavier, 2010. "A new perspective on the genealogy of collective action through the history of religious organizations," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4821, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Bernard Laurent & Peter Wirtz, 2013. "Founder-CEO values, the conception of ownership and governance models illustrated in a case study of Auchan," Working Papers halshs-00796728, HAL.


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