The German Corporate Governance System
10 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 1998
Among American corporate law scholars, contemporary appreciation of the distinctive features of the German corporate model has proceeded in two stages. The first stage accomplished an intellectual paradigm shift, a genuine exemplification of this much-overused concept.
Inevitably, as with any paradigmatic reconceptualization, a second wave of empirical testing and theoretical refinement followed. As Roe and other scholars had anticipated, the broad picture of several radically different corporate systems presented more a set of ideal types than a complete description of the corporate world.
Finally, the systems have been subject to contemporary economic pressures such as globalization, the dissemination of new production methods, and the collapse of welfare-state regimes that made the stable post-war equilibria appear to be mere temporary stopping points on the way to some yet unspecified but undoubtedly brave new world.
Within the scope of this brief conference paper, I will offer a more nuanced assessment of where we stand in light of the revisionist research.
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