Participative (or participatory) management, otherwise known as employee involvement or participative decision making, encourages the involvement of stakeholders at all levels of an organization in the analysis of problems, development of strategies, and implementation of solutions. Employees are invited to share in the decision-making process of the firm by participating in activities such as setting goals, determining work schedules, and making suggestions. Other forms of participative management include increasing the responsibility of employees (job enrichment); forming self-managed teams, quality circles, or quality-of-work-life committees; and soliciting survey feedback. Participative management, however, involves more than allowing employees to take part in making decisions. It also involves management treating the ideas and suggestions of employees with consideration and respect. The most extensive form of participative management is direct employee ownership of a company.
The concept of participative management is applied by the managers who understand the importance to human intellect and seek a strong relationship with their employees. They understand that the employees are the facilitators who deal directly with the customers and satisfy their needs. To beat the competition in market and to stay ahead of the competition, this form of management has been adopted by many organizations. They welcome the innovative ideas, concepts and thoughts from the employees and involve them in decision making process.
The idea behind employee involvement at every stage of decision making is absolutely straight. Open and honest communication always produces good results both for organization as well as workers. Freedom and transparency in company’s operations take it to the next level and strengthens the basis of the organization. On the other hand, there are several companies that straightway rule out the possibility of participative decision making process. According to them, employees misuse their freedom of expression and participation in decision making as it provides higher status to employees and empowers them.
Definition of participative management
It is very difficult to define 'Participative Management', because concentrators differ in their views depending on the socio-economic goals of the countries they belong to. However it is generally agreed that the influence of Participative Management is quite significant indeed. Allport (1945) refers to, "Participation in decision-making as active (ego) involvement"'. Schultz (1951) regards, "It as a feeling of obligation to work for the best interests of a group"2. Viteies (1953) holds that, "employee participation in decision-making in a democratic atmosphere created by 'permissive' leadership, facilitates the development of 'internalized' motivation, and saves to raise the levels of the employee production and morale"
According to Davls (1957), "Participation may be defined as the mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to group goals and share responsibilities in them.
Tarmenbun (1966) defines participation as the "formal Involvement of members in the exercise of control, usually through decision-making in group meetings.
Lamners (1967) pointed out, "participation in decision-making may be defined as the totality of such forms of upward exertion of power by subordinates in organizations as are perceived in this sense can be of two varieties i .e., direct or indirect.
Sawtell (1968) has described the concept as, "any or all of the process by which employees rather than managers contribute positively towards the reaching of managerial decisions which affect their work.
The International Institute for Labor Studies (1971) describes participation as, "process whereby workers have a share in the reaching of managerial decisions in the enterprise"' .