Participation in Germany defines a number of rights that give workers the opportunity to actively participate in the organization of their work environment. These include statutory participation rights, internal enterprise agreements developed in conjunction with trade union contracts, and informal agreements arising from the practice of participation. In the United Kingdom, the first examples of participation in management were codified by the Oxford University Act 1854 and the Cambridge University Act 1856. In private companies, the Port of London Act was introduced in 1908 under the board of directors of Winston Churchills.  In economies of participation, workers of large companies can form special bodies called enterprise committees. In small businesses, they may elect representatives of workers who act as intermediaries in exercising the right of workers to be informed or consulted on decisions on workers` status and rights. They also elect or elect workers` representatives from the corporate management and supervisory bodies. However, participation may not be suitable for all countries or companies. Multinational participation legislation is hampered by legal and economic factors, as implicitly recognized by the Netherlands in granting multinationals exemptions from co-management (Hopt 1984, p. 1363).
In addition, participation is a feature of coordinated market economies in which coordination through non-market mechanisms is essential to economic success (Hall and Soskice 2001). Engagement of participation in liberal market economies can be counterproductive, as the market itself is the main source of coordination and offers comparative advantages. The largest participation of workers on corporate boards is in the mining, coal, steel and steel industries, where the Coal, Iron and Steel Participation Act applies to more than 1,000 employees. Board seats are divided equally between shareholder and worker representatives. However, the chairman of the supervisory board is another representative of the shareholders, but is compensated by another neutral member who is elected to the board of directors by mutual agreement of both parties. The scale of workers` participation in the coal, steel and steel sectors is a consequence of the Second World War: the victorious allies wanted to prevent these strategic industries from being unilaterally controlled and hijacked by large shareholders. A 2020 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics showed that participation in Germany did not affect wages, wage structure, share of labour, turnover, employment or profitability of the company, but increased capital investment.  Participation guarantees the representation of employees in the management of a company.