Governing Economic Life: Organizing Large Business Corporations in Denmark

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This chapter on associative governance in and of economic life focuses on the organization of large businesses in Denmark. It analyzes associative governance through the notion of “organizational concertation” as a negotiation between mutually recognized parts, using this approach to explore the implications of the joint stock corporate form, which focuses on profit maximization. Because the corporate form is characterized by the power of capital and externality, the corporate form in principle contradicts the principles of associative governance. The chapter shows that contrary to common beliefs, Denmark is not a country of cooperative companies or small- and medium sized enterprises, but of large corporations. Historically, the cooperatives have won the struggle of the narrative of the Danish economy, but corporations were central to economic development, and especially since the 2000s, Denmark has been dominated by a few, very large, global corporations. It is concluded that while associative governance in big business requires organizational concertation based on reciprocity, recognition, and mutuality between (formal) equals, this relationship is skewed due to the dominance of capital and externality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociative Governance in Scandinavia : Organizing Societies by “Combining Together”
EditorsAnker Brink Lund, Haldor Byrkjeflot, Søren Christensen
Number of pages32
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9781032466743, 9781032466767
ISBN (Electronic)9781003382775
Publication statusPublished - 2024
SeriesNordic Studies in a Global Context

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