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Dr. Sigurt Vitols Science Center Berlin (WZB). Participation: an asset of Corporate Governance in MNC’s. Does the SE provide an advantage for enterprises and investors?. Presentation prepared for the SEEurope Network Conference, 29-30 November 2004, Brussels. Key Questions for the Study.

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dr sigurt vitols science center berlin wzb
Dr. Sigurt Vitols

Science Center Berlin (WZB)

Participation: an asset of Corporate Governance in MNC’s. Does the SE provide an advantage for enterprises and investors?

Presentation prepared for the SEEurope Network Conference,

29-30 November 2004, Brussels

key questions for the study
Key Questions for the Study
  • Internationalization and company change
  • Resulting challenges for HRM
  • Workers’ Participation: The Management View
  • EWC + SE
study design
Study Design
  • DJ Stoxx 600
  • Postal survey of 165 Companies w/ EWC
  • 63 Replies (38 % Response Rate)
  • 13 In-depth Interviews
  • Access to Lift.com Participants
internationalization at company level
Internationalization at Company Level
  • Weakening of National HQ vis-a-vis Regional and/or Divisional HQ
  • Regional Production + Sales Strategies
  • Product + process standardization
  • Regional/divisional HRM upgraded
  • Increased Monitoring by Capital Markets + NGOs
  • Uneven Process
examples of company change
Examples of Company Change
  • Centralization at GM Europe HQ/Detroit
  • BP European HQ in Paris
  • Devolution of responsibility to divisions (e.g. Degussa, Zeneca)
  • Centralization of risk management function in financial services
challenges for european hrm
Challenges for European HRM
  • Understanding national cultural and legal differences
  • Harmonization of HRM policy which respects national differences
  • Create “real” corporate culture/identity
  • Encourage cross-border mobility of employees
  • Develop truly international management cadre
  • Implementing European legislation (e.g. timely info for EWC)
  • “Think globally and act locally”
  • Increase local control/monitoring w/o increasing bureaucracy
  • CSR/Sustainability/Code Implementation
european employee participation
European Employee Participation
  • 2/3 managers see EWCs positively + have plans for improvement
  • Better communication, acceptance, decisions
  • Decrease in decision speed
  • No “country of origin” effect
  • However: significant minority negative
  • Near-consensus: no negotiating rights, no strengthened Directive
some benefits of ewcs
Some Benefits of EWCs
  • Upgrading of HR function
  • Discussion of new topics: strategy, finances, health + safety, training
  • From information to consultation
  • Agreements/statements on:
    • Health and safety
    • Sustainable development
    • Social + ethical charters
enlightened managers ewc future role
Enlightened Managers: EWC future role
  • More confident information conduit
  • More informed consultative body able to act as a genuine interlocutor
  • A serious and active partner
  • A key role in European social dialogue
  • A brainstorming group
  • A platform for a constructive social dialogue and wide-ranging communication
adoption of se wait and see
Adoption of SE: Wait and See?
  • 8 %: likely to adopt
  • 12 %: “unthinkable”
  • 80 %: “Might be considered but unlikely that it would be adopted”
  • Key issues: taxation, simplification of corporate structure, financial reporting + transparency, employee representation
participation se possible advantages
Participation + SE: Possible Advantages
  • Upgrading of HRM function
  • Improvement in employee communication + motivation, implementation of change
  • Independent force monitoring management
  • „New“ issues: CSR, transparency, pension funds
  • Role for trade unions?
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