Case Study

German Chambers of Commerce- Institutionalized Wisdom (2018-2020)

Even after almost 70 years, the West German post-war order of the ’social market economy‘ continues to be successful. In fact, it has made Germany one of the countries with the highest quality of life worldwide. Conditions in post-war Germany, such as mentality and the structure of products and services are often cited as reasons for facilitating the birth of the social market economy.

Social market economy should not be limited to competition and social policy. Rather, important features of the German economic constitution (corporate governance) have been ignored – and are largely unknown internationally. These include compulsory company membership in the Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Chambers of Trade etc. This structure, which was only made binding after the Second World War, takes into account the specific corporate image of the social market economy, which ascribes to it a ‚co-responsibility for regulatory policy‘. In clear contrast to the exclusively profit-oriented understanding of business in the model of financial market-driven capitalism, far-reaching structural decisions are made here, which are also an indispensable prerequisite for the dual system of vocational training, which is important both economically and socio-politically.

In a new series on ‚Practical Wisdom‘, Springer Verlag (Heidelberg – Berlin – New York) is publishing a handbook on the German chamber system in English. The aim is to provide vivid information about the specific structure of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Chamber of Crafts etc., especially in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The book is primarily targeted at students and practitioners, and will be disseminated to universities, administration and businesses. In addition to theoretical passages, the book contains vivid case studies in which typical procedures become comprehensible.