Chapter

Germany

Jonathan P. Charkham

in Keeping Better Company

Second edition

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780199243198
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191697234 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243198.003.0002
Germany

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In the economic sphere, the Germans have never been obsessed by the idea that their economy will work best if unrestricted competition is studiously enforced: cartels existed in the nineteenth century. The sense of cooperation is also evident in the social sphere. This emphasis on social obligation is consistent with the Germans setting devotion to education. There is a consensus that the purpose of companies is to deliver to the community the goods and services needed on a continuing basis. The entrepreneurial drive in small and medium German enterprises comes from the people who founded them. In bigger companies, the Vorstand drives the business forward. In the German system, the employee representatives have a flow of information through works councils, to the point where they may well be the best-informed people on the Aufsichtsrat. The supervisory element in the two-tier system is concerned with establishing and maintaining standards.

Keywords: Germany; social obligation; cooperation; two-tier system; Vorstand; Aufsichtsrat; standards

Chapter.  29715 words. 

Subjects: Corporate Governance

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