Chapter

Corporate Governance and Business Ethics

Volume 39 of the series Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy pp 75-87

Date:

Scandalous Co-determination

  • Kai KühneAffiliated withInstitute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Community, University of Trier Email author 
  • , Dieter SadowskiAffiliated withInstitute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Community, University of Trier

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Abstract

We compare the academic evaluation of supervisory board co-determination in Germany with its portrayal in the mass media. According to empirical research, co-determination does not have a detrimental effect on firm performance and can thus be regarded as simply an element of corporate governance within Germany. However, a content analysis capturing characterisations of co-determination in German newspapers between 1998 and 2007 shows that this institution is depicted more and more critically in the press. There is thus a noticeable discrepancy between empirical evidence and the interpretative schemata of mass media. In this paper, we investigate the reasons for this divergence as well as its consequences.