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Participation in decision making: a matter of context?

Brenda Scott‐Ladd (Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia)
Verena Marshall (Graduate School of Business, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



This paper reports findings on employee participation in decision making from a cross‐section of employees in the public, private and local government sectors in Western Australia. A contextual model of participation relevant to the prevailing industrial climate was developed, then tested using a structural equations modelling approach. Results suggest that participative decision making (PDM) directly contributed to task variety and autonomy, and through autonomy, task identity. Employees perceived that PDM contributed to performance effectiveness and led to greater gains in the workplace. An unexpected result was that these benefits did not contribute to increased job satisfaction or commitment despite PDM having a direct positive influence on job satisfaction, which in turn increases commitment. These findings support arguments that employees believe participation in decision making offers them substantial benefits, but suggests they are more ambivalent about increasing task demands and the gains they receive for this extra effort.



Scott‐Ladd, B. and Marshall, V. (2004), "Participation in decision making: a matter of context?", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 646-662.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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