Breman: continuity of employment and income through sharing ownership and profit

2015 – The Breman Installation Group consists of 40 companies operating in the fields of installation, roofing, electro-technical services, fire protection, flue technology and service and maintenance. Breman employs around 1500 men and women.

The reason for the innovations – since 1972 – was the desire to practice the ‘Social Christian’ concept of ‘stewardship’. The long-term perspective and responsibility for society (in the region) should guide the organizational model and the (strategic) decisions.

Workplace Innovation
Owners and employees are sharing both the responsibility and the profits. The profit share of the shareholders is added to the equity of the company. Shareholders may not dispose of them freely. They do receive the dividend.
Shareholders, management and the Works Council jointly determine the strategy. The employees are organized in a Works Council. The aim is to take decisions in harmony, and they discuss things until a solution is found that everyone can agree with.
The Works Council reviews and evaluates the strategy.
The operational implementation of the policy is the responsibility of the management of the divers companies. The companies within the Breman Installation group have a great deal of independence and responsibility and decisions are taken in those companies as much as possible. There is paid much attention to a good atmosphere, good harmony and a flat organisation. And patience and understanding is shown life events.

The case description does not report about any changes at the workplaces, for instance in the division of duties and responsibilities, nor about teamwork.

The change is not reported in the accompanying case description.

The former local bicycle business has become a holding of 40 companies with about 1,500 employees. The crisis of recent years has not led to any layoffs, as was the case with many other installers. The company offers a job for a hundred employees with disabilities.

Lessons learned
In the report, the following conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made:
• Set sustainability in the focus.
• Provides staff with participation and co-responsibility as much as possible.
• Leverage the value of the differences in knowledge and experience of shareholders and employees.
• Work from an inspiring vision and communicate that.
• Translate the vision into concrete behaviour.


Popta van, Jan en Vries de, Sjiera. (2015) ‘Breman: continuïteit van werk en inkomen door delen zeggenschap en winst’. Lectoraat Sociale Innovatie Hogeschool Windesheim, Zwolle.  A case description is attached.
And see:,_een_unieke_bedrijfsstructuur.pdf