An Analysis of Economic Democracy Reforms in Sweden

Whyman, Philip B orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3926-1019 (2004) An Analysis of Economic Democracy Reforms in Sweden. Edwin Mellen Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-7734-6476-6

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This book provides a comprehensive analysis of one of the most ambitious and controversial economic democracy reform agendas ever proposed and, albeit in a modified format, implemented in a major democratic industrialised nation. Economic democratisation refers to the extension of democracy to the workplace, through the provision of ownership and control to working people, to enable each individual to exercise a degree of determination over their working lives. Having outlined the background to the adoption of economic democracy reforms, and examined the theoretical justification for economic democratisation, the initial design of the reform proposals and the political mobilisation against the reform agenda, the first section concludes by describing the evolution in design of the economic democracy initiatives.
The book continues by providing a detailed analysis concerning the impact of the institutional instruments introduced to advance economic democratisation – in particular, the wage-earner funds. The examination of these policy instruments explores their impact upon the performance of the Swedish economy, the ability to transfer corporate decision-making influence to working people and the financial returns achieved by the fund system. This investigation is complemented by an analysis of the characteristics of the companies in which the funds invested, in order to further understand the motivations behind the operational decisions taken by the individual funds. The book concludes by making tentative recommendations concerning the design of any future economic democratisation experiment, together with commenting upon the establishment of the circumstances in which economic democratisation may perform optimally.

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