Special Report on
Privately Ordered Participatory Management
Privately Ordered Participatory Management - Trends
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American industrial enterprises long organized their production processes in rigid hierarchies in which production-level employees had little discretion or decision making authority. Recently, however, many firms have adopted participatory management programs purporting to give workers a substantially greater degree of input into corporate decisions. Quality circles, self-directed work teams, and employee representation on the board of directors are probably the best-known examples of this phenomenon. These forms of workplace organization have garnered considerable attention from labor lawyers and economists, but relatively ...
attacks the idea that participatory management increases worker happiness (and, presumably, productivity). On the contrary, says Bainbridge, workers often prefer hierarchy, for a variety of reasons (risk aversion, resistance to change, preference for standardized rules and procedures, and so on). “Whether the taste for participation or for hierarchy is more common is hard to say from the evidence to date, but at the very least the history of participatory management has taught us that not everyone wants more autonomy, challenge, and responsibility.” Further details are provided ... Read More
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