Participation in Management Decision Making on Employee Productivity, Its Effects

Participation in Management Decision Making on Employee Productivity, Its Effects

Participation in Management – The literature will be present in the parts, part one will focus on the concept and issues related to participation and part two will be concerned with decision-making in organization in relation to other general management issues. 

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          Decision-making embraces all-important components of the management process.   To importance of decision-making can never be over emphasized so also is the need for participation of employees in such organization decision.

Morgan (1973) asserted that participation may be through of as giving and receiving of information, advice and suggestions and the sharing of experience among members of an organization.   He further stated that in management, it particularly applies to allowing the employee(s) to have a voice in shaping policy, procedures, and processes that directly or indirectly affect them from the above view, it can be seen that participation is a sharing process among managers and employees.   However, in the process of sharing employees most be able to display an upward exertion of control over management decision.

According to Guest and Fatchett (1974) the situation where there is said to be a sharing decision-making may be no more than a means whereby management controls the situation.   They further stated that the work force participation to effectively taken place, the employee exactions of control should always lead to management’s alteration of proposed plans that affect the employees.

Researches and observation reveal that participation of employee in managerial decision-making is not applicable to all organization.   Varying leadership styles exist in organizations by places where on autocratic leadership style, prevails, this is never done for this leadership style which?   Is characterized by the centralization of the decision-making process on the management himself.  Being autocratic leader, the manger is seen as one who commands and expects compliance.

The dominant force involves is power.   However, since the manager views country as the only means of getting things done; performance of employee as expected is always Minimal Likert (1961) was of the view that participation should not be thought as a single process or activity but rather as whole range of processes and activities.

Tannaenbaum and Schmidt (1985) described participation as on a continue of processes ranging from the autocratic leadership style as a free rein management because of its very little control or influence over group members.

Davis (1981) is classified from of leadership participation to benevolent autocracy, consultative management.

A group of managers view participation as a useful item in their bag of managerial risks.   It is for them a manipulative device for getting people to do what they want, under condition, which delude the “participation” into thinking they have a voice in decision making.  The idea is to handle, them skillful that they came up with the answer, which the manger had in the first place sent believing it was their own.

The consultative manger on his own part seeks the views and ideas of his employees.  He capitalizes on the knowledge and experience of those under his and from the expected list of alternative solutions developed by both parties.  Selects the one he regard as most promising.   The participative/democratic manager passes the decision-making itself to his group with himself as a member.

However, surface doing so, defines the boundaries with.   In which the decision must be made?

Likert further assumed that giving or sharing of information is an essential step in the process of participation and one of the first in moving toward more complete participation.

If managers, therefore depending on the people under him and the situation at hand, must vary his participative approaches.   According to Guest and Knight (1974) some observers have noted that while a continuum is a useful way of conceptualizing participation it does not provide a definition.   They further stated that if a definition does not use a concept such as control them some of the approached falling on the continuum could not be classified as genuine participation.


          The concept must be distinguished from delegation though both terms, seemingly are the same.   Although in participation and delegation the manager feels he is giving away something especially a thing that will weaken his position.   Both terms are still different from each other.

According to Davis (1981) delegation involves the assignment of duties authority and responsibility to a subordinate.

Koontz et al (1980) asserted that delegation is the vesting of decision-making power on the subordinate.   Unlike in participation, where the manger reserves the right to make the ultimate decision and responsibility for such decision attaches on him, in delegation, the “detegate” assume the sole right to make decision within his framework but be accountable to the manager for decision made.

Notwithstanding the above differences however, a manager can still delegate decision working to his subordinate(s) under the guide of participation.

This is commonly found in the laissez faire styles of leadership Nevertheless in this situation the responsibility for the decision made attaches to the manager.

This distinction must be made therefore for a proper understanding of what participation involves and more specifically employee participation in managerial decision-making.


          Morgan (1973) outlined three factors that influence participation these are the organization itself, the manager and the employed.

THE ORGANIZATION:         For effective participation to take place, the organization must provide a psychological climate conductive for participation.   This means that it must initiate and encourage a two-way flow of communication.

If information is directed only one way down then no meaningful exchange between management and employees can take place.

Secondly, the organization’s attitudes towards its employees have a direct bearing on employee participation.

As a way of encouraging the employee to participate effectively, he must be made to feel that his opinions and ideas mean “Something” that he is valued both as a person and an employee.

Megregor (1960) asserted that as a general rule theory X management philosophy tends to stifle participation where as theory y approach encourages it. He further established that participation which grows out of the assumption of theory y offers substantial opportunity for ego satisfaction for the employee and this can affect motivation toward organization effort to encourage participation must be sincere. If employee participate programmes are used as a means no intent of using the employees opinions or suggestions to influence decisions.   It becomes meaningless and often does more harm than good.

According to Tannaenbaum et al (1958) problems may occur when the manager uses a “democratic” façade to conceal the fact that he has already made a decision, which he hopes the group will accept as its own.   They added that the attempt to make them think it was their idea in the first place is indeed a risky one finally, the organization must establish guideline as to the freedom managers could allow employees in making-decision concerning work in their departments.

THE MANAGER:         The manager must operate a two-way communication flow.   His efforts to encourage participation must be sincere, and the freedom, he can allow employees in making decision concerning work in his department must not exceed the guidelines established by the organization.   He must always remember that participation does not relieve him of authority or his responsibility for making-decision.   The last work rests with him.

Also, as the manager, he must realize that he has a dual responsibility.   One to his organization and the other to his employees.   Therefore, the desires and wishes of the employee must be measured against goals and objective of the organization.

Where possible, the desired and wishers of the employees must always be considered, but when a conflict exist, the manager is obligated to support the goals of the organization.


THE EMPLOYEES:        The degree to which an employee is allowed to participate in decision-making depends to a great extent on his background and training.   This is to say that if the employee his no knowledge of the problem, then his opinions and suggestions will have little value.   On the other hand if the employee has considerable experience and training, his advice may prove beneficial in making-decision. Therefore, by allowing the experienced and inexperienced employee to participation both will feel that they have some control over their work.


          Likert (1961) asserted that the extent and criteria of participation need will be geared towards to be value the skills and the expectation of the people involved if productive results are to be obtained.

Davies (1981) said that some employees desire more participation than others.   He stated that educated and higher level workers typically seek move, participation because they feel more prepared to make useful contributions when lack it they tend to have lower performance less satisfaction, lower self esteem, more stress and other symptoms of tension and satisfaction.

However, some people desire a minimum of participation and are not upset when they lack it.

Davis further added that the difference between one’s desired and actual participation gives a measure of the model between a company’s practices and individual’s desire, that when employees want more participation than they have, they are “participatively deprived” and this is under participation.

Conversely, when they are “participation saturated” there is over participation.   He then concluded that where there is either under participation or over participation, people are less satisfied than those who participate to a degree they matches their needs.    Therefore, participation is not something that should be applied equally to over gone rather it should match their needs.…………………………………………………


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