The influence of Dutch employees on the strategy of the company

By Marnix Holtzer

On the whole, Dutch employees tend to exert the influence they have on a company to improve their terms and conditions of employment. But according to Marnix Holtzer in his thesis ‘De invloed van werknemers op de strategie van de vennootschap’, this is a short-sighted approach. They would do better to get more involved in thinking about the policies of the companies they work for. This would open their eyes to long-term strategic decisions that have a greater social and societal impact than the level of their wages and that of their co-workers. Boards of directors and supervisory boards also stand to gain from encouraging this kind of input from employees.

A report entitled ‘Balanced corporate governance’ (‘Evenwichtig ondernemingsbestuur’) compiled by the Social and Economic Council SER concludes that the system of participation in strategic decision-making processes for Dutch employees is not working as it should. Employees themselves are largely to blame by failing to exercise their rights to the full. Holtzer tried to find out exactly how much say employees could have in deciding corporate strategy, and how this could be improved in line with accepted social opinion.

He concluded that the stakeholder model would be the best option for corporate governance. Employees are naturally one of the stakeholders…

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