This article deals with a model of worker participation which was introduced in a German car dealership and repair shop in the 1960s and which goes far beyond the legal framework of German codetermination ('Mitbestimmung'). The model comprises full codetermination in economic affairs, substantial gain-sharing, participation through work teams on the shop floor, and the 'neutralization of capital' (i.e., transfer of owner's property rights to a foundation). The significance of these four elements is described in theoretical terms. The development was evaluated by interviewing a representative sample of the company's employees. The economic and social success of the company leads to the question of how industrial democracy can be further advanced in the future.
industrial democracy humanization of work governance of small and medium-size enterprise (SME) codetermination