HOW PARTICIPATION WORKS
The Participative Process
A simple model of the participative process is shown in Figure 8-3. It indicates that in many situations participative programs result in mental and emotional involvement that produces generally favorable outcomes for both the employees and the organization. Participating employees are generally more satisfied with their work and their supervisor, and their self efficacy rises as the result of their new found empowerment. Figure 8-3
The Impact on Managerial Power
Participation is a sharing process between managers and employees. It is built upon the leader –member exchange model of leadership. This model suggests that leaders and their followers develop a somewhat unique reciprocal property, with the leader selectively delegating, informing, consulting, mentoring, pairing or rewarding each employee. In exchange, each subordinate contributes various degrees of task performance, loyalty, and respect to the manager. The quality of the relationships varies, depending on the balance of exchange made, with some employees attaining favored status (the in-group) and the other perceiving some unfairness in their treatment (the out-group). Managerial perceptions are important, too. If a manager believes that an employee has high ability and that a high quality exchange relationship exists; the manager is more likely to allow a greater degree of influence in decisions. Two Views of Power
Strange as it may seem, participation actually may increase the power of both managers and their employees. It is evident that employees gain more power with the participation, but what about managers? The autocratic view of management is that power is a fixed quantity, so someone must lose what another gains. However, as shown in the Figure 8-4, the participative view is that the power in a social system can be increased without taking it from someone else. The process works like this: Managerial power depends partly on employee trust in management, a feeling of teamwork, and a sense of responsibility. Participation improves these conditions. Since employees feel more cooperative and responsible, they are likely to be more responsive to managerial attempts to influence them. In a sense, managers make social transactions with their work groups that build assets such as improved goodwill and responsibility. These assets’ are similar to a saving deposit that managers can draw upon later, perhaps with interest, when they need to apply their power.
Is a fixed amount
Comes from the authority structure
Is applied by management
Is a variable amount
Comes from the people through both official and unofficial channels •
Is applied by shared ideas and activities in the group
Flows in all direction
Prerequisites for Participation
The success of participation is directly related to how well certain pre requisites conditions are met, as shown in figure 8-5. Some of these conditions occur in participants; some exist in the environment. They show that participation works better in some situations than in others- and in certain situations it works not at all. Major prerequisites are as follows: 1.
There must be time to participate before action is required. 2.
The potential benefits of participation should be greater than the costs. 3.
The subject of participation must be relevant and interesting. 4.
The participants should have the ability, such a s intelligence and technical knowledge, to participate. 5.
The participants must be mutually able to communicate.
Neither party should feel that its positions are threatened by participation. 7....
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