This chapter focuses on early German dissent in certain managerial matters and how this dissent, over the years, created a very different managerial system in that country. The history of German management is marked by three significant periods after World War II. The first happened immediately post-war (1946–52) in the battle over co-determination and participation in management. The second occurred with the reaffirmation within German business and industry of traditional German ideas about leadership — the rejection, that is, of American managerialism. The third period of significance arrived when the Social Democratic Party (SPD) gained partial access to power in the coalition governments of the late 1960s and 1970s. It brought legislative reforms and a labour-union-backed democratization of German economic and social life that greatly affected German organizational behaviour.
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