Institutional Reform: The Future of Codetermination: Comment



This interesting and congenial paper is comprised of four parts. The first is a summary of the history of codetermination in West Germany. What the authors have to say comports with my understanding of what happened. In as much as my expertise in that history is negligible, I have no critique to offer. The second is a summary of the initiative, or proposal, advanced by DGB in 1982. I am not certain why this proposal was chosen for presentation: Among rival proposals, including those from employer organizations, it seems to have little chance of adoption. At least this proposal indicates the direction of thought, and the hopes, of one major interest group. The third part of the paper is interpretive. It discusses, first, alternatives and supplements to codetermination and, second, the conditions likely to influence the further history of codetermination. Bartölke and Kappler are so perceptive that I wish this had been the longest section of their paper. Finally, they discuss what social science can contribute to improving codetermination in the FRG. I concur with the substance of what the authors have to say but not with their conclusion. I shall take this conclusion up next and then move on to matters that bear largely on the interpretative framework within which codetermination can be understood.


Collective Bargaining Employer Organization Wage System Longe Section Employee Stock Ownership Plan 
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  1. See Warren J. Samuels, A. Allan Schmid, James D. Shaffer, Robert A. Solo, and Stephen A. Woodbury, “Technology, Labor Interests, and the Law: Some Fundamental Points and Problems,” Nova Law Journal, 8 (Spring 1984 ): 487–513Google Scholar
  2. Warren J. Samuels, “The Wage System and the Distribution of Power,” Forum for Social Economics, Fall 1985, pp. 31–41.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1989

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