Successful corporate democracy: sustainable cooperation of capital and labor in the Dutch Breman Group
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
New York, N.Y.
The Academy of Management executive. - New York, N.Y., 1993 - 2005
, p. 54-66
The typical modern corporation is based on the old-fashioned blueprint of the shareholder-driven hierarchy. A worthwhile question is how alternative blueprints of corporate democracy might better satisfy the requirements of modern knowledge economies. In this article, we introduce a model of corporate democracy developed and implemented by the medium-sized Dutch engineering firm Breman Group in the early 1970s. The model has been in place ever since. We argue that Breman's democratic structures and procedures help to develop and sustain organizational adaptation and learning capabilities and competencies which are critical to a knowledge- and servicebased economy. We provide lessons that can be learned from the Breman example and illustrate how the Breman model of democracy has been and can be implemented in other existing and newer organizations