In scanning the recent literature on participatory management certain themes arise. Participatory management is a way to empower employees and create a more innovative bottom up structure for organizations. It is a movement toward decentralizing power. There are many suggestions on how this type of structure is to be realized. Most articles I reviewed have positive views of this structural method.
Participative management is rooted in the human resource theoretical school. Using this type of model has a strong underpinning in utilizing people as a valuable resource. In fact many articles talk about the ability of peoples minds as the most important resource in today’s world. Most of the literature I
…show more content…
Participatory management has many time and effort costs and these must be weighed against the amount of good such systems provide. There are some circumstances where participative management tools must be modified or not undertaken (Foster-Fishman & Keys, 1997). There are certain elements needed for participative management to be successful. Clear leadership and commitment from upper level leaders are crucial. Furthermore clear communication of specific goals and objectives are also essential ingredients (Goh, 1998). Political subcultures need to be considered and addressed so that efforts to gain input are not subverted (Collins, 1995). One compelling argument is the need for management to go out of their way to make sure the process of implementing employee involvement is perceived as a fair process. By engaging the rank and file for input, explaining why certain decisions are made, and providing new rules and roles that are expected this objective can be realized (Kim & Mauborgne, 1997). Of historical interest is an article by Bussel (1997) where the author provides the historical account of an early participative management attempt by William Hapgood to run his condensed soup company. Ahead of his time in the 1920’s Hapgood believed that the key to improving productivity and efficiency was to use a more humanistic and employee self-governance scheme. Although his efforts failed this attempt and contribution