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Employee Representatives on Company Boards – Hostages, Renegades or Fierce Opponents?

Inger Marie Hagen

Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies 2020

Forskere på Fafo: Inger Marie Hagen

Members of company boards in Scandinavia are legally obliged to act in accordance with the interests of the company. How to interpret this obligation has been on the agenda ever since the employees were given the right to elect their own board members in the early 1970s. This article, based on data from a European survey among board-level employee representatives (BLERs), compares Swedish and Norwegian BLERs and asks whether the conflict between the company’s interests and the employees’ interests (still) constitutes a predicament? The analysis indicates that this alleged conflict belongs to the initial debate and that it is less relevant to the current BLERs. The differing election principles in Sweden (BLERs are appointed by the local trade unions) and Norway (BLERs are elected by all the employees in the company) do not alter this conclusion.

Employee Representatives on Company Boards – Hostages, Renegades or Fierce Opponents?