Employee Involvement and Participation

3883 Words Apr 27th, 2011 16 Pages
Employee involvement is often identified as a key contributor to high performance work systems. Explain why employee involvement is so important. Use theory and examples to support your answer.

Companies nowadays need to turn to various methods in shaping their competitive strategy in order to stay competitive and achieve bottom line. The focus on best allocation of human, technological and material resources is critical to organisational performance. Theorists often consider people factor as the key resource ensuring success of an organisation. In fact, people constitute and create organisations, being their foundations and accelerators of change. Hence, attention to wise management of human capital is essential in order to trigger off
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Within the last 30 years there has been observed substantial interest in employee participation. The Bullock Report on ‘Industrial Democracy’ (1977) view the industrial participation as relying on collectivist principles, employee rights established on a statutory basis and partial union initiation through the labour party (Ackers et al 1992, cited Marchington & Wilkinson 2005, p.77). The rise of EI has consequently led to reduction in union power, increase in management initiated practices and stress on direct communications with individual employees. The direct consequence of EI is the change of structure of an organisation, with reduced layers, hierarchical levels and transfer of the decision-making capacity directly to lower levels of employees (Farias and Varma 1998). From the 1980s there has been observed growth in direct communication and EI, which was confirmed in the 1998 WERS with teamworking being used in 65% of studied workplaces, team-briefing 61% and staff attitude survey or problem solving groups being applied in over 40% of the given workplaces (Cully et al. 1998). Surveys carried out by CEO (the Centre for Effective Organizations) at the University of Southern California have focused on EI and TQM practices in the Fortune 1000 companies, the results demonstrate the growing trend towards EI and TQM practices, as a result of effectiveness of these practices (Farias & Varma