This paper analyses self‐reported participatory management data from a survey of over 900 private‐sector employees in Australia and New Zealand. We test for causal linkages between employee desires for participation, while distinguishing between participation at the shop‐floor and at higher managerial levels. At higher levels, where there is a significant excess demand for participation, firms often respond to employee desires with formal programmes which in turn create de facto participation at this level. At the shop‐floor level, employee desires are more often met through the informal provision of de facto participation. Participation also changes employee desires, with participation at higher levels increasing employee demands for it and participation at lower levels reducing demands for high‐level participation. We conclude that shop‐floor programmes may favour managerial interests while higher‐level co‐operative programmes may favour employee interests.
British Journal of Industrial Relations – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1991
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