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 theinterests 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 beunpopular with the employees.▪He or she can guide the Board members on matters of investment in employee benefitschemes like housing, and so forth.The Government of India took the initiative and appointed workers’ representativeson the Board of Hindustan Antibiotics (Pune), HMT (Bangalore), and even nationalizedbanks.The Tatas, DCM, and a few others have adopted this practice.Problems
associated with this method:▪ Focus of workers’ representatives is different from the focus of the remaining membersof the Board.▪ Communication and subsequently relations between the workers’ representative andthe workers suffers after the former assumes directorship.He or she tends to become
alienated from the workers.▪ As a result, he or she may be less effective with the other members of the Board indealing with employee matters.▪ Because of the differences in the cultural and educational backgrounds, anddifferences in behaviour and manners, such an employees’ representative may feelinferior to the other members, and he or she may feel suffocated. Hence, his or her roleas a director may not be satisfying for either the workers or the management.▪ Such representatives of workers’ on the Board, places them in a minority. And thedecisions of the Board are arrived at on the basis of the majority vote.
Participation through ownership:
This involves making
the workers’ shareholders of the company by inducing them tobuy equity shares.▪ In many cases, advances and financial assistance in the form of easy repayment ptionsare extended to enable employees to buy equity shares.Examples of this method are available in the manufacturing as well as the servicesector.
▪ Makes the workers committed to the job and to the organization.Drawback:
▪ Effect on participation is limited because ownership and management are two differentthings.
Participation through complete control:
complete control of the management through elected boards.The system of
self-management in Yugoslavia is based on this concept.Self-management
gives complete control to workers to manage directly all aspects of