Country Analyses, Second Edition
Edited by Christine A. Mallin
Chapter 6: Corporate governance in Norway: women and employee-elected board members
Janicke L. Rasmussen and Morten Huse INTRODUCTION When understanding the Norwegian corporate governance arena it is important to understand the Norwegian history and the main actors. This includes the fact that Norway is a small country with only a few large corporations, there are not many people with a long history of being rich, and that the state and public authorities are important actors. This will in practice mean that there are few traditional family companies, but that even small companies have had active boards of directors, public policy initiatives have been of major importance, and recent movements of investor activism have received considerable attention. There are certain particular features that characterize the Norwegian corporate governance system. These include Norwegian traditions and particular corporate governance events, the division between ASA (public limited) and AS (private limited) companies, the concentrated ownership of the Oslo Stock Exchange, the importance of governmental and municipal ownership, the compulsory delegation of executive tasks (a two-tier system), corporate codetermination, and regulations about gender balance in the board. These issues will be described in this chapter. Corporate governance may be defined in various ways (Huse, 2007a, pp. 18–23), but in this chapter we will use an interaction definition, as the picture we paint here from Norway is about actors in interactions. Thus we will not take as our focus that corporate governance is to comply with corporate governance principles – nor how shareholders use boards to monitor managerial behaviour. We will here define corporate governance as the...
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