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Partnership, Ownership and Control: The Impact of Corporate Governance on Employment Relations


  • S. Deakin
  • R. Hobbs
  • S. Konzelmann
  • F. Wilkinson


Most large UK private-sector organisations are listed companies that are subject to intense pressures to enhance shareholder value. The question arises of whether this constrains the ability of UK managers to pursue genuine partnership arrangements with long-term stakeholders, including employees. Empirical evidence is presented in the form of case studies of partnership relations between labour and management since the mid-1990s in companies operating under different forms of ownership. While some companies have been able to reconcile shareholder demands with a 'partnership' approach, in other cases, shareholder pressure has undermined partnership relations of the kind which have endured under more concentrated forms of ownership. Where the corporate governance system can be seen to support partnership, it is in conjunction with market regulation underpinning quality standards, relative stability in product markets, and a willingness on the part of senior management to mediate between the claims of different stakeholder groups.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Deakin & R. Hobbs & S. Konzelmann & F. Wilkinson, 2001. "Partnership, Ownership and Control: The Impact of Corporate Governance on Employment Relations," Working Papers wp200, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp200
    Note: PRO-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-349, June.
    2. Wilkinson, Frank, 1983. "Productive Systems," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3-4), pages 413-429, September.
    3. Sue Konzelmann & Robert Forrant, 2000. "Creative Work Systems in Destructive Markets," Working Papers wp187, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    4. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin, 1996. "Hostile takeovers and the correction of managerial failure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 163-181, January.
    5. Colin Mayer, 1996. "Corporate Governance, Competition and Performance," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 164, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilary Bates & Nick Oliver & Matthias Holweg & Michael Lewis, 2004. "Motor vehicle recalls: trends, patterns and emerging issues," Working Papers wp295, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    2. Christel Lane, 2003. "Changes in corporate governance of German corporations: convergence to the Anglo-American model?," Working Papers wp259, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item


    corporate governance; industrial partnership; stakeholding; co-operation;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law

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