Workers’ participation in management is an essential ingredient of Industrial democracy. The concept of workers’ participation in management is based on Human Relations approach to Management which brought about a new set of values to labour and management. Traditionally the concept of Workers’ Participation in Management (WPM) refers to participation of non-managerial employees in the decision-making process of the organization. Workers’ participation is also known as ‘labour participation’ or ‘employee participation’ in management. In Germany it is known as co-determination while in Yugoslavia it is known as self-management. The International Labour Organization has been encouraging member nations to promote the scheme of Workers’ Participation in Management. Workers’ participation in management implies mental and emotional involvement of workers in the management of Enterprise. It is considered as a mechanism where workers have a say in the decision-making.
Definition: According to Keith Davis, Participation refers to the mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to group goals and share the responsibility of achievement.
According to Walpole, Participation in Management gives the worker a sense of importance, pride and accomplishment; it gives him the freedom of opportunity for self-expression; a feeling of belongingness with the place of work and a sense of workmanship and creativity.
The concept of workers’ participation in management encompasses the following: ð It provides scope for employees in decision-making of the organization. ð The participation may be at the shop level, departmental level or at the top level. ð The participation includes the willingness to share the responsibility of the organization by the workers.
Features of WPM:
1. Participation means mental and emotional involvement rather than mere physical presence. 2. Workers participate in management not as individuals but collectively as a group through their representatives. 3. Workers’ participation in management may be formal or informal. In both the cases it is a system of communication and consultation whereby employees express their opinions and contribute to managerial decisions.
4. There can be 5 levels of Management Participation or WPM:
a. Information participation: It ensures that employees are able to receive information and express their views pertaining to the matter of general economic importance. b. Consultative importance: Here workers are consulted on the matters of employee welfare such as work, safety and health. However, final decision always rests with the top-level management, as employees’ views are only advisory in nature. c. Associative participation: It is an extension of consultative participation as management here is under the moral obligation to accept and implement the unanimous decisions of the employees. Under this method the managers and workers jointly take decisions. d. Administrative participation: It ensures greater share of workers’ participation in discharge of managerial functions. Here, decisions already taken by the management come to employees, preferably with alternatives for administration and employees have to select the best from those for implementation. e. Decisive participation: Highest level of participation where decisions are jointly taken on the matters relating to production, welfare etc.
Objectives of WPM:
1. To establish Industrial Democracy.
2. To build the most dynamic Human Resources.
3. To satisfy the workers’ social and esteem needs.
4. To strengthen labour-management co-operation and thus maintain Industrial peace and harmony. 5. To promote increased productivity for the advantage of the organization, workers and the society at large. 6....