Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tom Hodge (a former student of mine from Vanderbilt) just posted on SSRN his article, "The Treatment of Employees as Stakeholders in the European Union: Current and Future Trends," which is being published in the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce. The abstract:
The European Union is a free trade area made up of Member States with significantly divergent corporate governance systems, legal traditions and labor costs. That being the case, the question arises: will these factors prompt convergence amongst the Member States’ corporate governance systems and what impact will that have on the treatment of employees as stakeholders? This paper seeks to determine if either the shareholder-primacy or stakeholder-pluralist model will gain dominance in the EU. The natural result of the Anglo-American shareholder-primacy system emerging victorious would be the curtailment of employee rights as stakeholders. However, the author will seek to demonstrate that the far greater likelihood is that all EU Member States will move gradually in the direction of stakeholder-pluralist systems. This occurrence is in response to European Union legislation that has created minimum standards for employee involvement, or ‘voice,’ in corporations. Furthermore, it is likely that in the future the EU institutions will seek to strengthen employee involvement in corporations in keeping with the aim of creating a social market economy.
This article provides an interesting--and, for at least a lot of American scholarship, a somewhat controversial--take on an issue that will be important for the future of European workers. Check it out!