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Worker's Participation in Management

Worker's Participation in Management

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Published by nilesh kumar soni
This study guide will help to understand WPM (worker's participation in management)
.
Prepared by
Shri Vikas Shrivastava
(faculty-Industrial Relations)
This study guide will help to understand WPM (worker's participation in management)
.
Prepared by
Shri Vikas Shrivastava
(faculty-Industrial Relations)

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Published by: nilesh kumar soni on Mar 15, 2009
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05/10/2014

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WORKERS’ PARTICIPATION IN MANAGEMENT(I) (i) Introduction:
Three groups of managerial decisions affect the workers of any industrial establishment and hence theworkers must have a say in it.
Economic decisions
– methods of manufacturing, automation, shutdown, lay-offs, and mergers.
Personnel decisions
– recruitment and selection, promotions, demotions, transfers, grievancesettlement, work distribution.
Social decisions
– hours of work, welfare measures, questions affecting work rules and conductof individual worker’s safety, health, and sanitation and noise control.Participation basically means sharing the decision-making power with the lower ranks of theorganization in an appropriate manner.
Definitions:
The concept of WPM is a broad and complex one. Depending on the socio-political environment andcultural conditions, the scope and contents of participation change.
International Institute of Labour Studies
: WPM is the participation resulting from the practiceswhich increase the scope for employees’ share of influence in decision-making at different tiers of organizational hierarchy with concomitant (related) assumption of responsibility.
ILO:
Workers’ participation, may broadly be taken to cover all terms of association of workers andtheir representatives with the decision-making process, ranging from exchange of information,consultations, decisions and negotiations, to more institutionalized forms such as the presence of workersmember on management or supervisory boards or even management by workersthemselves (as practiced in Yugoslavia).The main implications of workers’ participation in management as summarized by ILO:
Workers have ideas which can be useful;
Workers may work more intelligently if they are informed about the reasons for and theintention of decisions that are taken in a participative atmosphere.
(I) (ii) Objectives:
According to Gosep, workers’ participation may be viewed as:
An instrument for increasing the efficiency of enterprises and establishing harmonious relations;
A device for developing social education for promoting solidarity among workers and for tapping human talents;
A means for achieving industrial peace and harmony which leads to higher productivity andincreased production;
A humanitarian act, elevating the status of a worker in the society;
An ideological way of developing self-management and promoting industrial democracy.
Other objectives of WPM can be cited as:
To improve the quality of working life (QWL) by allowing the workers greater influence andinvolvement in work and satisfaction obtained from work; and
 This Text should be used as reference for MLFIR. Students should also go throughwebsites, books and take guidance from their respective faculty members.Vikas Shrivastava Page 1
 
To secure the mutual co-operation of employees and employers in achieving industrial peace;greater efficiency and productivity in the interest of the enterprise, the workers, the consumersand the nation.
Importance:
Unique motivational power and a great psychological value.
Peace and harmony between workers and management.
Workers get to see how their actions would contribute to the overall growth of the company.
They tend to view the decisions as `their own’ and are more enthusiastic in their implementation.
Participation makes them more responsible.
They become more willing to take initiative and come out with cost-saving suggestions andgrowth-oriented ideas.
(I) (iii) Essential condition for WPM:
The success of workers portion in management depends upon the following conditions.
The attitude and outlook of the parties should be enlightened and impartial so that a free andfrank exchange of thoughts and opinions could be possible. Where a right kind of attitude existsand proper atmosphere prevails the process of participation is greatly stimulated.
Both parties should have a genuine faith in the system and in each other and be willing to work together. The management must give the participating institution its right place in the managerialorganization of the undertaking and implementing the policies of the undertaking. The labor, onthe other hand, must also whole heartedly co-operate with the management through its tradeunions. The foremen and supervisory cadre must also lend their full support so that the accepted policies could be implemented without any resentment on either side.
Participation should be real. The issues related to increase in production and productivity,evaluation of costs, development of personnel, and expansion of markets should also be broughtunder the jurisdiction of the participating bodies. These bodies should meet frequently and their decisions should be timely implemented and strictly adhered to. Further,
o
Participation must work as complementary body to help collective bargaining, which createsconditions of work and also creates legal relations.
o
There should be a strong trade union, which has learnt the virtues of unit and self-reliance sothat they may effectively take part in collective bargaining or participation.
o
A peaceful atmosphere should be there wherein there are no strikes and lock-outs, for their  presence ruins the employees, harms the interest of the society, and puts the employees tofinancial losses.
o
Authority should be centralized through democratic management process. The participationshould be at the two or at the most three levels.
o
Programs for training and education should be developed comprehensively. For this purpose,Labor is to be given education not to the head alone, not to the heart alone, not to the hands
 This Text should be used as reference for MLFIR. Students should also go throughwebsites, books and take guidance from their respective faculty members.Vikas Shrivastava Page 2
 
alone, but it is dedicated to the three; to make the workers think, feel and act. Labor is to beeducated to enable him to think clearly, rationally and logically; to enable him to feel deeplyand emotionally; and to enable him to act in a responsible way.
Conclusion:
Management should be prepared to give all information connected with the working of the industry andlabor should handle that information with full confidence and responsibility. The workers should become aware of their responsibilities. The leaders should initiate this in them. Similarly, the topmanagement should make the lower echelons to show a new attitude in the light of the new relationship.
(I) (iv) Scope and ways of participation (Forms):
One view is that workers or the trade unions should, as equal partners, sit with the management andmake joint managerial decisions.The other view is that workers should only be given an opportunity, through their representatives, toinfluence managerial decisions at various levels.In practice, the participation of workers can take place by one or all the methods listed below:1.Board level participation2.Ownership participation3.Complete control4.Staff or work councils5.Joint councils and committees6.Collective Bargaining7.Job enlargement and enrichment8.Suggestion schemes9.Quality circles10.Empowered teams11.TQM12.Financial participation
1.Participation at the Board level:
This would be the highest form of industrial democracy.The workers’ representative on the Board can play a useful role in safeguarding the interests of workers.He or she can serve as a guide and a control element.
He or she can prevail upon top management not to take measures that would be unpopular withthe employees.
He or she can guide the Board members on matters of investment in employee benefit schemeslike housing, and so forth.The Government of India took the initiative and appointed workers’ representatives on the Board of Hindustan Antibiotics (Pune), HMT (Bangalore), and even nationalized banks. The Tatas, DCM, and afew others have adopted this practice.
Problems associated with this method:
Focus of workers’ representatives is different from the focus of the remaining members of theBoard.
 This Text should be used as reference for MLFIR. Students should also go throughwebsites, books and take guidance from their respective faculty members.Vikas Shrivastava Page 3

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