Corporate Governance and Industrial Relations in the European IT Sector


The goal and innovative aspect of this project is the integration of different discussions which up to now have been treated separately:

  1. The transformation of corporate governance and the discussion of the international diffusion and critique of the "shareholder value" orientation,
  2. The discussion of macro-institutional conditions on the national level for radical innovations ("varieties of capitalism"),
  3. The analysis of sector-specific developments and the role of transnational value added chains for the power and resource distribution of companies

Since the New Economy era the US IT sector has been seen as the model sector of the US market-oriented institutional system with fluid labor markets, presence of venture capital as well as low barriers for the transfer of knowledge and mobility of knowledge workers. Is it really the case that this form of capitalism has long term advantages in this sector in regime competition? To what extent can Europe succeed in developing towards a knowledge-based society?

Using the example of the IT sector, this project will examine the interplay between macro-institutional and sector-specific conditions in the development of an industry as well as of a corporate governance system on the company level. On the micro level the focus will be on interest representation, the flexibility of work and employment, the qualifications of employees as well as the role of stock options as an incentive and financing instrument. On the macro level this project focuses on finance and training systems as well as industrial relations systems.

Empirically the project will be based on company case studies in the Swedish, German, and English IT sector and in the Polish computer game industry, as well as on the analysis of expert interviews and data on the sector