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New Perspectives on Industrial Policy for a Modern Britain$
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David Bailey, Keith Cowling, and Philip Tomlinson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706205

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198706205.001.0001

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Workers’ Voice in Company Decision-Making

Workers’ Voice in Company Decision-Making

Chapter:
(p.225) Chapter 12 Workers’ Voice in Company Decision-Making
Source:
New Perspectives on Industrial Policy for a Modern Britain
Author(s):

Janet Williamson

Tim Page

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198706205.003.0012

This chapter explores UK corporate governance and puts forward the case for greater worker representation (voice) on UK corporate boards. The chapter explores the prevailing features of UK corporate governance and the high volatility in ownership, with transient short-term shareholder interests often prevailing at the expense of long-term business success. This results in relatively lower investments in R&D, training, and other long-term investment strategies compared to other European-based companies. The chapter argues that greater worker representation on corporate boards is thus an important adjunct for industrial policy, since it may act as a constraint upon corporate power (and ‘short-termist’ strategies). This is substantiated by evidence from other countries where worker representation and labour–management partnerships have enhanced long-term company productivity and performance, with firms pursuing a broader (and long-term) company strategy with a greater focus upon innovation-led, higher value-added activities.

Keywords:   corporate strategy, worker representation, short-termism, industrial policy, investment

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