Worker's Participation in Management

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Workers’ Participation drives industrial democracy to achieve ideal goals of organizations. Marxian ideology advocates the idea of worker’s participation in management on purely ideological grounds. But some of contemporary researchers conclude that the objectives of organizations profit can be secured by involving the employees in participation in management’s affairs. Present study is an attempt to understand the theoretical and applied part of workers’ participation. The management theorists believe that the ideal participation means joint decision making. Researches conducted over the last 80-90 years have indicated to the managements that their long range objectives of continued survival and prosperity can best be achieved through cooperation from the employees on the vital issues. Rensis Likert, an eminent management thinker believes that management goes through many phases, but the last phase genuinely is through participative approach. A trade union leader also believes to adopt conformational strategy from time to time, whereas Government many times had tried to push the legislations to secure votes of workers. It seems a pure vote catching gimmick. But there is always the silver lining on the dark clouds where workers union took up the challenge of running the production based organization and proved to be milestone. Yet there are enormous possibilities of improving productivity through securing genuine employee participation at every level of organizations. In the past, employees were treated merely as faction of production and had no say in decision-making process of Industrial organizations. Today, it is time of industrial democracy which means management of industrial organizations. Therefore, democratization is of utmost significance to place the common people in effective control mechanism of modern economic life. The system must give them change to express their voice in influencing the ambience of the organization due to their interest in the ideal goals of industrial democracy. It requires workers’ participation to achieve these goals. Hence workers’ participation works as a vehicle of industrial democracy and is most widely discussed concept in the area of industrial relations. In this paper, I propose to discuss the theoretical and practical issues involved in the concept of workers’ participation in the management and its implementation. One of the Group theoreticians – the followers of Marxian ideology vociferously advocates the idea of workers’ participation in the management on purely ideological grounds. There are other management thinkers who also support the idea of workers’ participation in management because their researches have led them to the conclusion that the objectives of the organization’s profit – can be best secured by involving the employees in participation in management’s affairs. The latter view is guided by enlightened self – interest, while the former view has an ideological basis. The term participation has many meaning. In a broad sense, the term participation refers to the contribution of the individuals in a group, towards a decision taken by a group. A psychologists who have been studying the functioning of small groups (upto 10-15 members) has observed that the extent of contributions of different members towards a group decision have wide differences. A few members may take a lot of interest in the discussions; some may take a marginal interest only while a few may not even understand what the discussion is about. The issue may be decided by consensus or by majority minority voting. But one would discover that not all the members are clear about the decision of which they are a party. In a way, we can say that even the presence of a member at the time of deliberations and decision-making is participation. Psychologists speak of levels of participation. At the lower end, we may have information sharing wherein the leaders of the group are willing to share the...
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