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Book part
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Adam Seth Litwin

Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation…

Abstract

Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation for the weak or altogether missing performance effects is that researchers rely on frameworks that focus almost exclusively on contingencies related to the workers themselves or to the set of tasks subject to participatory processes. This study is premised on the notion that a broader examination of the employment relationship within which a worker participation program is embedded reveals a wider array of factors impinging upon its success. I integrate labor relations theory into existing insights from the strategic human resource management literature to advance an alternative framework that additionally accounts for structures and processes above the workplace level – namely, the (potentially implicit) contract linking employees to the organization and the business strategies enacted by the latter. The resulting propositions suggest that the performance-enhancing impact of worker participation hinges on the presence of participatory or participation-supporting structures at all three levels of the employment relationship. I conclude with implications for participation research.

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-380-4

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Book part
Publication date: 11 April 2005

Vicki Smith

The first cluster of papers in this volume studies the effect of worker participation on individuals, group processes, and organizations. This topic mirrors the…

Abstract

The first cluster of papers in this volume studies the effect of worker participation on individuals, group processes, and organizations. This topic mirrors the predominant emphasis in the literature wherein worker participation, broadly defined, has been regressed against nearly every conceivable outcome in diverse work settings. Quite reasonably, a driving question for social scientists is what happens when worker participation is introduced. What are the consequences of top-down participation schemes and are they meaningful? Do they change the distribution of rewards and opportunities, or reconfigure dynamics between workers? The study of outcomes is significant because it touches on whether worker participation programs genuinely change the nature of work, improve workers’ jobs, strengthen workers’ hand or merely perpetuate traditional power structures.

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Worker Participation: Current Research and Future Trends
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-202-3

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1978

L. Héthy and Cs. Makó

For the past few years workers' participation in decisions associated with the running of factories has become a much discussed question in Hungarian industrial relations…

Abstract

For the past few years workers' participation in decisions associated with the running of factories has become a much discussed question in Hungarian industrial relations. Shopfloor democracy, however, is much more than a fashionable topic for discussion in industry, science or politics. It is a real social problem waiting for a solution. Workers' participation has emerged as an outcome of a number of recent industrial and socio‐economic advances which have had a major impact on our working class, and on industrial and social processes in our country. This progress has made us question many traditional approaches to the motivation of workers and encouraged us to look for new solutions. One of these is the promotion of the direct participation of workers in shopfloor decisions. Although indirect workers' participation, e.g. through trade union representatives, is of the utmost importance in Hungary and well deserves attention, it cannot be discussed within the compass of the present article, which will be strictly limited to the question of direct participation.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1983

R.G.B. Fyffe

This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of…

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Abstract

This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of industrial and economic democracy, which centres around the establishment of a new sector of employee‐controlled enterprises, is presented. The proposal would retain the mix‐ed economy, but transform it into a much better “mixture”, with increased employee‐power in all sectors. While there is much of enduring value in our liberal western way of life, gross inequalities of wealth and power persist in our society.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 3 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 11 April 2005

Jeffrey S. Rothstein

Post-fordist production systems emphasize the need to tap workers’ knowledge to enhance productivity and quality. Often overlooked, however, is the potential conflict in…

Abstract

Post-fordist production systems emphasize the need to tap workers’ knowledge to enhance productivity and quality. Often overlooked, however, is the potential conflict in expecting workers to contribute to processes that may make their jobs harder. This article compares employee participation schemes at two General Motors assembly plants to illustrate the potency of this dilemma and the range of ways managers focus or limit employee participation to achieve the company's goals. In Silao, Mexico, General Motors carefully constructed a labor relations environment that cultivated broad employee participation. In Janesville, Wisconsin, local managers placed constraints on employee participation to ensure continuous production.

Details

Worker Participation: Current Research and Future Trends
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-202-3

Book part
Publication date: 5 June 2013

John Giles, Dewen Wang and Albert Park

This paper first reviews the history of social insurance policy and coverage in urban China, documenting the evolution in the coverage of pensions, medical and…

Abstract

This paper first reviews the history of social insurance policy and coverage in urban China, documenting the evolution in the coverage of pensions, medical and unemployment insurance for both local residents and migrants, and highlighting obstacles to expanding coverage. The paper then uses two waves of the China Urban Labor Survey, conducted in 2005 and 2010, to examine the correlates of social insurance participation before and after implementation of the 2008 Labor Contract Law. A higher labor tax wedge is associated with a lower probability that local employed residents participate in social insurance programs, but is not associated with participation of wage-earning migrants, who are more likely to be dissuaded by fragmentation of the social insurance system. The existing gender gap in social insurance coverage is explained by differences in coverage across industrial sectors and firm ownership classes in which men and women work.

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Labor Market Issues in China
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-756-6

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Book part
Publication date: 9 December 2013

Mark J. Kaswan

To examine how different types of ownership, including investor-owned, employee-owned, and mixed models, affect the dynamics of participatory practices in the workplace…

Abstract

Purpose

To examine how different types of ownership, including investor-owned, employee-owned, and mixed models, affect the dynamics of participatory practices in the workplace, and the broader social effects of these differences.

Design/methodology/approach

Brings together literature from democratic theory and empirical research in workplace participation and employee ownership. The first step is to articulate the range of democratic practices from nondemocratic to strongly democratic. The essay then discusses the different forms that participation can take and the threshold for what can be considered democratic participation. It then considers different models of ownership and the impact of ownership type on participatory practices.

Findings

It is found that investor-owned firms cannot be considered strongly democratic and that worker cooperatives are more likely to be strongly democratic and cannot fall below the threshold of weak democracy. However, strong democracy is not necessarily a feature of worker cooperatives.

Originality/value

Little work has been done to consider the way the type of ownership affects the kind or degree of democratic practices that may be present in an enterprise.

Details

Sharing Ownership, Profits, and Decision-Making in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-750-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1976

Ezey M. Dar‐El and Lawrence F. Young

‘Supportive Participation’ is a term used to describe a formal role for workers in all phases of the decision‐making process except the final ‘vote’, on activities that…

Abstract

‘Supportive Participation’ is a term used to describe a formal role for workers in all phases of the decision‐making process except the final ‘vote’, on activities that affect their immediate work environment. These include problem origination as well as the generation of alternatives, activities which necessitate an active partnership between workers and staff. Final decisions for action are left to management. A typology of ‘participation’ is developed — these include seven factors which are grouped under ‘Category’ and ‘Extent’ dimensions. The paper reviews past examples of Supportive Participation, which include the programmes: Work Simplification, the Japanese ‘Quality Circles’ and the Scanlon Plan. Supportive Participation is directed towards jointly raising productivity and the ‘quality of working life’ and some proposals for new ways to apply the approach more effectively are presented.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1979

“All things are in a constant state of change”, said Heraclitus of Ephesus. The waters if a river are for ever changing yet the river endures. Every particle of matter is…

Abstract

“All things are in a constant state of change”, said Heraclitus of Ephesus. The waters if a river are for ever changing yet the river endures. Every particle of matter is in continual movement. All death is birth in a new form, all birth the death of the previous form. The seasons come and go. The myth of our own John Barleycorn, buried in the ground, yet resurrected in the Spring, has close parallels with the fertility rites of Greece and the Near East such as those of Hyacinthas, Hylas, Adonis and Dionysus, of Osiris the Egyptian deity, and Mondamin the Red Indian maize‐god. Indeed, the ritual and myth of Attis, born of a virgin, killed and resurrected on the third day, undoubtedly had a strong influence on Christianity.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Salomé Goñi-Legaz and Andrea Ollo-López

The purpose of this paper is to establish to what extent temporary contract and participation in decision making impact on employees job satisfaction and to propose a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish to what extent temporary contract and participation in decision making impact on employees job satisfaction and to propose a model whereby participation in decision making mitigates against the negative impact that temporary work has on job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data for a representative sample of 14,778 employees in 23 European countries. In order to test the hypotheses, the authors use regression models and the Chow test.

Findings

The results show that while temporary contracts decreases job satisfaction, participation in decision making increases it. However, autonomous teams, job autonomy, and job involvement buffer against the negative effect that temporary contract has on job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The use of secondary data and the non-longitudinal nature of the data set.

Practical implications

The effect of participation in decision making in job satisfaction is greater for temporary workers than for permanents. Participation in decision making should not be restricted to permanent workers.

Originality/value

Participation in decision making and temporary contracts has been considered incompatible practices. The paper contributes to enrich the understanding of the relationship between these practices and job satisfaction. Sample representatives support the results obtained.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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