Worker’s participation in management


The concept of workers’ participation in management is considered as a mechanism where workers have a say in the decision-making process of an enterprise.


The concept of workers’ participation in management crystallizes the concept of Industrial democracy, and indicates an attempt on the part of an employer to build his employees into a team which work towards the realization of a common objective.

According to Davis, “It is a mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to goals and share responsibilities in them.

Within the orbit of this definition, a continuum, of men management relationship can be conceived:

In this continuum, workers’ control represents one extreme which suggests concentrations of all powers in workers, and management supremacy represents the other extreme, which implies a zealous defense of managerial prerogatives.

“Workers’ participation in management is a resounding phrase, bridging the past and the future. It echoes the millennial vision of nineteenth century thinkers while heralding the evolution of new forms of industrial organization under twentieth century pressures. The word ‘workers participation’ is plentifully supplied with ideas, institutions and opinions.

There are two basic ideas in the concept of workers’ participation in management: there are two groups of people in an undertaking (managers and workers) and that there are two separate sets of functions to be performed (managerial and operative). Managerial functions are essentially those concerned with planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling, in contrast with “doing� or “operative� work

It is also defined as a system of communication and consultation either formal or informal by which employees of an organization are kept informed about the affairs of the undertaking and through which express their opinion and contribute to management decisions.

Summary of the Definitions

1. The participation results from practices which increase the scope for employee’s share of influence in decision-making at different tiers of the organizational hierarchy with concomitant assumption of responsibility.

2. The participation has to be at different levels of management: (i) at the shop level, (ii) at the department level, and (iii) at the top level. The decision-making at these different levels would assume different patterns in regard to policy formulation and execution.

3. The participation incorporates the willing acceptance of responsibilities by body of workers. As they become party to the decision-making, the workers have to commit themselves to ensuring their implementation.

4. The participation is conducted through the mechanism of forums and practices which provide for association of workers’ representatives.

5. The broad goal of participation is to change basically the organizational aspect of production and transfer the management function entirely to the workers so that management becomes “Auto management�

Comments are closed.