- Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series
Edited by Nina Boeger, Rachel Murray and Charlotte Villiers
Chapter 6: Varieties of Capitalism and the Learning Firm: Corporate Governance and labour in the Context of Contemporary Developments in European and German Company Law
6. Varieties of capitalism and the learning firm: corporate governance and labour in the context of contemporary developments in European and German company law* Peer Zumbansen INTRODUCTION The role of the employee in the corporation is manifold. Starting with their carrying out of various functions, determined by the superiors, employees often play a much more differentiated role in the functioning of an organization. It is obvious then that the form of the organization – a small, middlesized firm, or a large, publicly traded corporation with operations around the world – has a direct impact on the role of the employee. This first observation is important if we want to avoid pursuing the question ‘what role for employees in the corporation’ in a one-size-fits-all manner. The size, structure, and embeddedness1 of the corporation, as recently highlighted again by Sanford Jacoby (2004), are directly related to our assessment of the role and involvement of employees in the organization. In turn, the shape of the organization is driven by developments in the political economy, of which a corporate, labour law and industrial relations regime each forms a part. This regulatory framework is increasingly less a domestic affair. The increased liquidity of funds available for the financing of corporate operations worldwide has been undercutting, informing, and pushing domestic policy developments. It is thus no surprise that our view on who are the ‘leading political economies’ shifts with the particular regimes’ aptness and capacity to adapt to the changing structures of world markets. Two interim conclusions follow....
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