Co-determination and sustainable corporate policy: new challenges through COVID-19


The project deals with the transformation of work with its new organizational forms and employment relationships. The project has two central perspectives: First, the coincidence of sustainability as a megatrend and Covid-19 as a temporary shock. Second, the project focuses on the issue of work from an employee perspective. The project brings the role of co-determination   and democratic structures in companies (industrial democracy) and the degree to which they affect not only the economic performance of companies but also sustainability policy into focus. A particular concern is job prospects and future opportunities for employees.

The project builds on two completed projects based on the co-determination index (MB-ix). The MB-ix, a quantitative index with a scale from zero to 100 points, measures the embedding of corporate co-determination in the company.  This index is well suited for examining relationships with financial as well as non-financial variables of corporate development.

With this design, the project aims to focus on the role of co-determination in the context of four key challenges. The main research questions are oriented on the so-called ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) systematic used in sustainability research:

  • What is the financial stability of companies before, during and after the COVID 19 crisis? How can it be improved and what influence can corporate co-determination have?
  • Under what conditions will the ecological transformation continue and what influence does corporate co-determination have in this context?         
  • How is job security ensured in a crisis context and what contribution does corporate co-determination make?
  • How has the capital market attractiveness of companies developed and what influence can co-determination have on this?

The empirical research is based on a sample of companies that were listed on a German stock market between 2006 and 2020 and for which MB-ix data are available. In addition, the data will be updated for subsequent years.

Publications and further information on the project can be found here: