Medium-sized companies: On the trail of Robert Bosch

Robert Bosch

We had to point this out again last week for a sad reason: The Krupp Foundation suffers from severe design defects – and so does the company. The counterexample is Robert Bosch GmbH, which thanks to intelligent governance structures can play off the advantages of a foundation company and has been a success for generations. We are convinced that more Bosch would be good for Germany as a business location, especially since the digital transformation requires staying power. Shareholders who constantly push for lush returns are particularly counterproductive in such times – regardless of whether they are activist shareholders or family members with a taker mentality.

“European Governance Culture Consistently Further Thought”

All the more pleasing that more and more medium-sized companies are following in Robert Bosch’s footsteps: Founders such as Ernst Schütz (mail order company Triaz) or Christian Kroll (Ecosia search engine) have expropriated themselves – and with the help of a special foundation model have ensured that the companies are now permanently owned by themselves. Profits are therefore reinvested and the voting rights are held by those who bear entrepreneurial responsibility (“owners of responsibility”). We think If you dismiss this as a marginal phenomenon, you’ll miss out. The inventors of the Purpose model have consistently further developed the European governance culture, which focuses on the well-being of the company. And such impulses are more valuable than ever in times of rapid change. It is therefore always worth considering the possibility of facilitating the ownership of responsibility through a new legal form. Following the invention of the GmbH and the social market economy, Germany could once again become a pioneer.