Theme 6: Governance models

Government and other institutional actors set great store by 'good' corporate or organisational governance. This has lead to structural changes, such as new regulations and the development of codes of practice, notably to improve effective democracy. This has been done, for example, by:
• advocating the clear division of roles and responsibilities between chairs and chief executives,
• setting out the responsibilities and decision making powers of governing bodies,
• and enhancing the powers of members or shareholders.

Within the social economy there are further considerations:
• To what extent should workers, members or other stakeholders be involved in organisational governance and how can the right people be recruited and developed (e.g. human capital)?
• Is there a particular feature proper to social economy organisations in terms of recruitment or salary policy (e.g. insertion of women, of young and/or senior persons, training)?
• How can governing bodies in particular give shape to the basic values of social economy and ensure the transmission of values and ideals to the next generations of managers?
• How do - if so noted - social economy actors (and/or stakeholders) influence regulatory measures linked to governance, for instance in public (or publicly participated) companies?

Further, the growth of social economy organisations and the development of the sector raise additional governance challenges. For example:
• What are the implications for the governance of social economy organisations when creating subsidiaries or when subcontracting?
• Can social economy organisations retain their values and principles as they grow?
• How can the social economy evolve from a small, locally embedded welfare logic to a market oriented logic?
• How are workers (and possibly the trade unions) involved in governance?
• Do social economy organisations require new legal structures and forms of regulation?

Finally, how can the numerous societal goals or impacts aimed at by social economy organisations, such as social and territorial cohesion, accessibility of services, urban and rural development, or sustainable development be addressed in the governance ‘equation’?
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