Corporate governance and work relations

Airlines have been neglected relative to other industries in corporate governance research and policy debates. However, airlines raise important questions in the field of corporate governance, and they demonstrate noteworthy solutions. Is there a common pattern among airlines across countries, or do they conform to their “national patterns?” Are there any special or new corporate governance pattern among merged airlines (which might deviate from the host country pattern of the dominant airline in the merger)? Corporate governance includes:

  • Composition of the company board(s) – which interests are included on the board(s) – banks, politicians, employee representatives, other major stockholders? What is the mix of the different interests? What key positions (chair, vice chair, committee chairs) do they assume?
  • Internal organization of the board(s), especially on aspects of governance that companies have some freedom of choice on under national law? Is a single or dual board structure chosen? What committees exist?
  • Ownership patterns – clearly the degree of state ownership varies, but are there other types of shareholding patterns which also vary (e.g. other large owners, especially financial owners such as banks? Or other industrial companies?)

Sigurt Vitols, Ph.D., Social Science Research Center Berlin

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