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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Yves Gomez & Peter Wirtz, 2008. "Institutionnalisation des régimes de gouvernance et rôle des institutions socles:le cas de la cogestion allemande," Working Papers CREGO 1080601, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
  • Handle: RePEc:dij:wpfarg:1080601

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
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    5. 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.
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    7. Peter Wirtz, 2002. "Politique de financement et gouvernement d'entreprise," Post-Print hal-01182989, HAL.
    8. McCahery, Joseph A. & Moerland, Piet & Raaijmakers, Theo & Renneboog, Luc (ed.), 2002. "Corporate Governance Regimes: Convergence and Diversity," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247875.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4821 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


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

    JEL classification:

    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • P11 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General

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