British industrial relations has changed greatly over the past decade. A central development has been management′s sponsorship of new, direct forms of employee involvement (EI) such as team briefing, quality circles and profit sharing. In many larger manufacturing firms new schemes now co‐exist with traditional union‐centred collective bargaining structures. In 1988 Employee Relations Vol. 10 No. 6 reported on a quality circle programme and a range of other EI initiatives at Brown′s Woven Carpets. Here returns to Brown′s several years on, as part of a wider, Department of Employment funded research project on “New Developments in Employee Involvement” carried out at Manchester School of Management, UMIST. The Brown′s case illustrates how employee participation develops in successive “waves” – a major theme of the larger study. The firm has now entered a period of consolidation. No new schemes have been introduced, but the early 1980s initiatives have gained a stable if not dominant place in company industrial relations; while the emphasis has moved on from a “reactive” to a more “proactive” usage of EI.
Ackers, P., Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A. and Goodman, J. (1992), "The Long and Winding Road: Tracking Employee Involvement at Brown′s Woven Carpets", Employee Relations, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 56-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/01425459210013904
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