The Danish Corporate Governance System: from stakeholder orientation towards shareholder value

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Abstract

This article presents a description of the Danish corporate governance system. It is similar to other continental European corporate governance systems, having concentrated ownership and no well-functioning market for corporate control. However, contrary to other European corporate governance systems, foundation ownership plays a vital and significant role in Denmark. Traditionally, the Danish corporate governance system has been oriented towards protecting the rights of various stakeholders and not only shareholders. In recent years, more pressure has been put on Danish firms for promoting shareholder value. As a consequence, Danish managers have begun to receive stock-related incentive contracts, although the Danish institutional framework still facilitates the protection of a broader range of stakeholders.

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