Worker Participation and Influence in Five Countries

  • Published 2007

Abstract

THE RISE OF IDEOLOGICAL and political demands for increased participation in decision making by members of work organizations gives a particular significance to empirical research on workers’ participation in decision making in industrial plants. In this article, we report results concerning workers’ participation in decision making and its effects in 52 industrial plants in five countries: Austria, Israel, Italy, United States, and Yugoslavia.’ Two of the systems, the Yugoslav and kibbutz (Israel), have highly participative formal structures. Plants in the other countries-Austria’ Italy, and the United States-have no formal worker representation mechanisms, but some degree of workers’ participation in decision making may occur depending on the managers’ leadership styles or on the existence in some cases of other devices of worker representation. Data were obtained concerning first the relationships among the 52 plants between (1) workers’ participation in decision making and (2) managerial and worker influence. These primary relationships were then examined using superior-subordinate communications, workers’ trust in management, workers’ sense of responsibility, and workers’ personal influence as intervening variables. A general conclusion is that the enhanced influence that accompanies workers’ participation in decision making within the plants in this study may be explained in part by the increased influence, trust, and responsibility felt by workers. * The authors are, respectively, Former Director of Research, Givat Haviva Social Research Centre on the Kibbutz; Director of Research, Central Trade Union Organization of Slovenia; Professor of Psychology, and Program Director, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; Professor of Sociology, University of Rome; and Professor of Sociology, University of Vienna. 1 The authors would like to thank the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation for support in this research.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{2007WorkerPA, title={Worker Participation and Influence in Five Countries}, author={}, year={2007} }