Governance Structures in Customer-Owned Hybrid Organizations: Interpreting Democracy in Mutual Insurance Companies
This chapter focuses on governance challenges in mutually owned insurance companies. We analyze the variation in how hybrids organize themselves and discuss why mechanism for institutionalization is not always in place. A comparative approach was chosen to study how democracy is expressed and the ownership governance system is organized in two Swedish insurance companies with a long history, where Folksam was always a mutual and Skandia only recently became a mutual. Departing from imprinting theory (Stinchcombe, Social Structure and Organizations. In Handbook of Organizations, ed. J.P. March, 142–193. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965), the findings suggest that institutional conditions at the time of their establishment as mutuals may have imprinted governance practices in these mutuals that persist beyond the founding phase.
KeywordsGovernance Mutuality Insurance companies Democracy Imprinting
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