In the words of Mehtras, ³ the concept of participation as a principle of democratic administration in an industry implies a share by rank and file

in the decision-making process of an industrial organization through their representatives at all the appropriate levels of management in the entire range of managerial action´

‡ Introduction:

Three managerial decisions affect the workers of any industrialšgroups of establishment and hence the workers must have a say in it. o Economic decisions methods of manufacturing, automation, shutdown, lay-offs, mergers. o Personnel decisions recruitment and selection, promotions, demotions, transfers, grievance settlement, work distribution. o Social decisions hours of work, welfare measures, questions affecting work rules and conduct of individual worker s safety, health, sanitation and noise control.

‡ Institute ofšInternational Labour Studies: WPM is the participation resulting from the practices which increase the scope for employees share of influence in decision-making at different tiers of organizational hierarch with concomitant assumption of responsibility. ‡ : Workers participation, may broadly be cover all terms of association of workers and their representatives with the decision-making process, ranging from exchange of information, consultations, decisions and negotiations, to more institutionalized forms such as the presence of workers member on management or supervisory boards or even management by workers themselves as practiced in Yugoslavia.

Workers¶ Participation in Management

‡ According Keith Davis Participation refers to ³the mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to group goals and share in the responsibility of achieving them´ ‡ It is a process by which authority and responsibility of managing industry are shared with workers ‡ In Yugoslavia it is called self-management ‡ In Germany it is known as Co-determination

Objectives of Workers participation in management
‡ 1. Democratic right to influence the managerial 1. Economic decisions objective ‡ 2. Raise worker¶ level of motivation and 2. Social commitment Objective ‡ 3.Cross-fertilisation and 3. Psychological speedy communication of ideas Objective ‡ Foster better co-operation between labour and management.

Importance of Workers¶ Participation in Management
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Mutual Understanding Higher Productivity Industrial Harmony Industrial Democracy Less Resistance to change Creativity and Innovation

Levels/Degrees of Participation
1. 2. 3. 4. Communication Consultation Codetermination Self-Management

Forms of Workers¶ Participation in Management 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Suggestion Scheme Works committees Joint Management Councils Worker Directors Co-Partnership

‡ One view is or the trade unions should, as equal partners, sit with the management and make joint managerial decisions. workers should onlyšThe other view is that be given an opportunity, through their representatives, to influence managerial decisions at various levels. participation of workersšIn practice, the can take place by one of following methods

Methods or ways of participation
‡ Participation at the Board level: highest form of industrialšThis would be the democracy. Board can play a useful rolešThe workers representative on the in safeguarding the interests of workers. or she can serve as a guide andšHe a control element. o He or she can prevail upon top management not to take measures that would be unpopular with the employees.

Contd.
‡ o He or she can guide the Board members on matters of investment in employee benefit schemes like housing, and so forth. India took the initiative andšThe Government of appointed workers representatives on the Board of Hindustan Antibiotics (Pune), HMT (Bangalore), and even nationalized banks. The Tatas, DCM, and a fewš others have adopted this practice. associated with thisšProblems method: o Focus of workers representatives is different from the focus of the remaining members of the Board. o Communication and subsequently relations between the workers representative and the workers suffers after the former assumes directorship. alienated from thešHe or she tends to become workers. o As a result, he or she may be less effective with the other members of the Board in dealing with employee matters. o Because of the differences in the cultural and educational backgrounds, and differences in behaviour and manners, such an employees representative may feel inferior to the other members, and he or she may feel suffocated. Hence, his or her role as a director may not be satisfying for either the workers or the management. o Such representatives of workers on the Board, places them in a minority. And the decisions of the Board are arrived at on the basis of the majority vote.

‡ Participation through ownership: thešThis involves making workers shareholders of the company by inducing them to buy equity shares. o In many cases, advances and financial assistance in the form of easy repayment options are extended to enable employees to buy equity shares. Examples of as the servicešthis method are available in the manufacturing as well sector. šAdvantage: o Makes the workers committed to the job and to the organization. šDrawback: o Effect on participation is limited because ownership and management are two different things.

‡ Participation through complete control: complete control of the management throughšWorkers acquire elected boards. self-management in Yugoslavia is based on thisšThe system of concept. gives complete control to workers to managešSelf-management directly all aspects of industries through their representatives. šAdvantages: o Ensures identification of the workers with their organization. o Industrial disputes disappear when workers develop loyalty to the organization. o Trade unions welcome this type of participation. toš ‡ Conclusion: Complete control by workers is not an answer the problem of participation because the workers do not evince interest in management decisions

‡ Participation through Staff and Works Councils: šStaff councils or works councils are bodies on which the representation is entirely of the employees. šThere may be one council for the entire organization or a hierarchy of councils. šThe employees of the respective sections elect the members of the councils. šSuch councils play a varied role. o Their role ranges from seeking information on the management s intentions to a full share in decision-making. šSuch councils have not enjoyed too much of success because trade union leaders fear the erosion of their power and prestige if such workers bodies were to prevail.

‡ Participation through Joint Councils and Committees: š Joint councils are bodies comprising representatives of employers and employees. o This method sees a very loose form of participation, as these councils are mostly consultative bodies. šWork committees are a legal requirement in industrial establishments employing 100 or more workers. o Such committees discuss a wide range of topics connected to labour welfare. o Examples of such committees are welfare committee, safety committee, etc. o Such committees have not proven to be too effective in promoting industrial democracy, increasing productivity and reducing labour unrest.

‡

Participation through Collective Bargaining: šThrough the process of CB, management and workers may reach collective agreement regarding rules for the formulation and termination of the contract of employment, as well as conditions of service in an establishment. šEven though these agreements are not legally binding, they do have some force. šFor CB to work, the workers and the employers representatives need to bargain in the right spirit. But in practice, whšile bargaining, each party tries to take advantage of the other. šThis process of CB cannot be called WPM in its strongest sense as in reality; CB is based on the crude concept of exercising power for the benefit of one party. o WPM, on the other hand, brings both the parties together and develops appropriate mutual understanding and brings about a mature responsible relationship.

‡

Participation through Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment: šExcessive job specialization that is seen as a by-product of mass production in industries, leads to boredom and associated problems in employees. šTwo methods of job designing job enlargement and job enrichment are seen as methods of addressing the problems. o Job enlargement means expanding the job content adding task elements horizontally. o Job enrichment means adding `motivators to the job to make it more rewarding. iThis is WPM in that it offers freedom and scope to the workers to use their judgment. iBut this form of participation is very basic as it provides only limited freedom to a worker concerning the method of performing his/her job. šThe worker has no say in other vital issues of concern to him issues such as job and income security, welfare schemes and other policy decisions.

‡ Participation through Suggestion Schemes: š Employees views are invited and reward is given for the best suggestion. š With this scheme, the employees interest in the problems of the organization is aroused and maintained. šProgressive managements increasingly use the suggestion schemes. šSuggestions can come from various levels. ideasšThe could range from changes in inspection procedures to design changes, process simplification, paper-work reduction and the like. o Out of various suggestions, those accepted could provide marginal to substantial benefits to the company. šThe rewards given to the employees are in line with the benefits derived from the suggestions

‡

Participation through Quality Circles: šConcept originated in Japan in the early 1960s and has now spread all over the world. workšA QC consists of seven to ten people from the same area who meet regularly to define, analyze, and solve quality and related problems in their area. šTraining in problem-solving techniques is provided to the members. šQCs are said to provide quick, concrete, and impressive results when correctly implemented. šAdvantages: o Employees become involved in decision-making, acquire communication and analytical skills and improve efficiency of the work place. o Organization gets to enjoy higher savings-to-cost ratios. o Chances of QC members to get promotions are enhanced. šThe Indian Scenario: o Tried by BHEL, Mahindra and Mahindra, Godrej and Boyce among others. o Experienced mixed results: iM&M (jeep division) with 76 QCs has experienced favourable results. Technical problems got solved. Workers got to get out of their daily routine and do something challenging. iTrade unions look at it as: A way of overburdening workers, and An attempt to undermine their role. šThese circles require a lot of time and commitment on the part of members for regular meetings, analysis, brainstorming, etc. cyclešMost QCs have a definite life one to three years. o Few circles survive beyond this limit either because they loose steam or they face simple problems. excellentšQCs can be an bridge between participative and non-participative approaches. For QCs toš succeed in the long run, the management needs to show its commitment by implementing some of the suggestions of the groups and providing feedback on the disposition of all suggestions.

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Empowered Teams: Empowermentš occurs when authority and responsibility are passed on to the employees who then experience a sense of ownership and control over their jobs. Employees may work, may get more workšfeel more responsible, may take initiative in their done, and may enjoy the work more. to occur, the followingšFor empowerment approach needs to be followed as compared to the traditional approach: Element Traditional Org. Empowered Teams Organizational structure Layered, individual Flat, team Job design Narrow, single task Whole process, multiple tasks Management role Direct, control Coach, facilitate Leadership Top-down Shared with the team Information flow Controlled, limited Open, shared Rewards Individual, seniority Team-based, skill-based Job process Managers plan, control, improve Teams plan, control, improve teams:šFeatures of empowered or self-directed o Empowered to share various management and leadership functions. o Plan, control and improve their work. o Often create their schedules and review their performance as a group. o May prepare their own budgets and co-ordinate their work with other departments. o Usually order materials, keep inventories and deal with suppliers. o Frequently responsible for acquiring any new training they might need. o May hire their own replacement to assume responsibility for the quality of their products or services. Titan, Reliance, ABB, GEš Plastics (India), Wipro Corporation and Wipro InfoTech are empowering employees both frontline as well as production staff, and are enjoying positive results.

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Total Quality Management: the deep commitment,šTQM refers to almost obsession, of an organization to quality. step in company sšEvery processes is subjected to intense and regular scrutiny for ways to improve it. šSome traditional beliefs are discarded. o High quality costs more. o Quality can be improved by inspection. o Defects cannot be completely eliminated. o Quality in the job of the QC personnel. New šprinciples of TQM are: o Meet the customer s requirement on time, the first time, and 100% of the time. o Strive to do error-free work. o Manage by prevention, not correction. o Measure the cost of quality. TQM is called involving every employee in thešparticipative because it is a formal programme organization; making each one responsible for improving quality everyday.

‡ Financial Participation: involves lessšThis method consultations or even joint decisions. organization isšPerformance of the linked to the performance of the employee. this is that ifšThe logic behind an employee has a financial stake in the organization, he/she is likely to be more positively motivated and involved. financialšSome schemes of participation: o Profit-linked pay o Profit sharing and Employees Stock Option schemes. o Pension-fund participation

‡ Pre-requisites for successful participation: Management and operatives/employees should notš work at cross-purposes i.e. they must have clearly defined and complementary objectives. communication and information.šFree flow of Participation of to be avoided.šoutside trade union leaders Strong and effective trade šunionism. education and training. Trade unions and governmentšWorkers needs to work in this area. šTrust between both the parties. Workers all levels of decision-making.šshould be associated at Employees cannot participation to the exclusion of all otheršspend all their time in work.

‡

Limitations of participation: Technology and organizations today specialized work-roles are required.šare so complex that o This means employees will not be able to participate effectively in matters beyond their particular environment. Everybody need not want participation.š The role promoting participative management has been far fromšof trade unions in satisfactory. Employers are unwilling to share power with the workers š representatives. Managers consider participative management aš fraud.

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Evolution of participative management in India: The beginning the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which made Worksštowards WPM was made with Committees mandatory in industrial establishments employing 100 or more workers. Policy Resolution adopted by the government in 1956šThe Industrial stated that there should be some joint consultation to ensure industrial peace, and improve employer-employee relations. The functions of both these joint to be consultative and were not binding on the management.šbodies were The these schemes was encouraging to begin with, but graduallyšresponse to waned. o A study team was appointed in 1962 to report on the working of joint councils and committees. The team identified some reasons for their ifailure. concrete steps were taken to remove the difficulties, or changeiNo the pattern of participative management. During the emergency of 1975-77, the these schemes was revived by the then Prime Minister by includingšinterest in Workers Participation in industry in the government s 20-point programme. o The government started persuading large enterprises to set up joint consultative committees and councils at different levels. šThe Janata Government who came to power in 1977 carried on this initiative. šIn was again emphasized by the Congress government who came back n 1979. non-statutoryšThis continued in a vein till the late 1980s, and the response from the employers and employees stayed luke-warm. o Then, the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution was made.

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o And then, on May 30,1990; the government introduced the Participation of Workers in Management Bill in the Rajya Sabha. billiThe requires every industrial enterprise to constitute one or more `Shop-Floor Councils at the shop floor level, and`Establishment Council at the establishment level. iThese councils will have equal representation of employers and employees. iShop-Floor councils enjoy powers over a wide range of functions from production, wastage control to safety hazards. iThe Establishment Council enjoys similar powers. iThe bill provides for the constitution of a Board of Management of every corporate body owning an industrial establishment. iThe bill also provides for penalties on individuals who contravene any provision of the bill. šIn spite of all these efforts, only the government and the academicians have been interested in participative management. šBut participative management is staging a comeback. o The compulsions of emerging competitive environment have made employee involvement more relevant than ever before. o Managers and the managed are forced to forget their known stands, break barriers, and work in unison. Managers and workers are partners in the progress of business.

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