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Within the last four decades n the realm of HRM, the technique of the
worker’s participation in management has been regarded as a powerful
behavioral tool for managing the industrial relations system.

For management, “It is joint consultations prior to decision making”.

The management experts and executives look upon it as “a tool for
improving the overall performance of an enterprise.” For them, it
means that workers are given an opportunity to take part in those
decisions which affect their working conditions, their very jobs and this
participation paves the way to harmonious industrial relations which
are conducive to increasing productivity and efficiency. For labourers,
it is just like co-decision or co-determination. The concept of workers’
participation in management crystallizes the concept of industrial
democracy, and indicates an attempt on the part of an employer to
build his employees into a team which works towards the realization of
a common objective.


• The participation enhances employees ability to influence,

decision making at different tiers of the Organizational hierarchy
with concomitant (GOING TOGETHER) assumption of
• The participation has to be at different levels of management:

1. At the shop floor level,

2. At the departmental level, and
3. At the board level.

• The participation incorporates the willing acceptance of

responsibilities by the body of workers. As they become a party to
decision making, they have to commit themselves to the
implementation of decisions made,

• The participation is conducted through the mechanism of forums

and practices which provide for the association of workers’
• The broad goal of participation is to change basically the
organizational aspect of production and transfer the management
function entirely to the workers so that they can experience
intricacies of “auto management”.

Evolution of the Concept:

The employers’ realization of the need for workers’

participation in management was considerably influenced by
the following factors:

• The increased use of technology in the industry has

necessitated the growing co-operation of workers because
of the complex operation of the production;
• The changed view that employees are no longer servants
but are equal partners with their employers in their
efforts to attain the goals of the enterprise,
• The growth of the Trade Unions which safe guard the
interest of the workmen and protect them against possible
exploitation by their employers;
• The growing interest of the government in the
development of industries and the welfare of workers;
• The need for increased and uninterrupted production
which can be achieved only when there is a contented
labour class.

Objectives of Workers’ Participation in Management:

In the words of Gosep, workers’ participation may be viewed as:

• An instrument of improving the efficiency of enterprises, and

establishing harmonious industrial relations,
• By getting employees’ suggestions and by improving attitudes
towards work and the organizations,
• A means for attaining industrial peace and harmony which lead to
higher productivity and increased production;
• A humanitarian act, giving the worker an acceptable status within
the working community and a sense of purpose in his activity,
• An ideological point of view to develop self management in