Participative Management Meaning, Definition, Features, Advantages, Disadvantages

Table of Contents:-

  • What is Participative Management?
  • Participative Management Definition
  • Participative Management Meaning
  • Features of Participative Management
  • Advantages of Participative Management
  • Disadvantages of Participative Management

What is Participative Management?

Participation refers to the involvement of individuals or groups of individuals for a common purpose. It will be effective only when there is an interaction between individuals or groups. Participative management or Workers participation in management, otherwise known as employee involvement or participative decision making. It encourages the involvement of stakeholders at all levels of an organisation in the development of strategies, analysis of problems, and implementation of solutions. Employees are invited to share in the decision-making process of the company by participating in activities such as determining work schedules, setting goals, and making suggestions.

Participative Management Definition

According to Sawtell, “Participation in any or all the processes by which employees other than managers contribute positively towards the reaching of managerial decisions which affect their work”.

According to Davis, “Participation is a mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to goals and share responsibilities in them”.

Spreitzer, Kizilos and Neson states, “Participative management is sharing the manager’s decision-making power with employees to enhance performance and job satisfaction“.

Participative Management Meaning

Organisations understand that the employees are the facilitators who deal directly with the customers and satisfy their needs. To beat the competition in the market and to stay ahead of the competition, this form of management has been adopted by many organisations. They welcome the innovative ideas, concepts and thoughts of the employees and involve them in the decision-making process.

TOM is anchored in the notion of participative management as espoused in the 1920s by Mary Parker Follett. She saw the role of management as being that of an integrator during problem situations. She believed that creative powers were unleashed through confrontation with issues and that this was best accomplished in participative group settings. In this manner, different perspectives are brought together and force people to deal with the reality of the issue. Likewise, TQM suggests that problem-solving is best accomplished by the use of learning so that all the facets are brought out in the open so that everyone can see what forces are propelling each person in the accomplishment of the issue at hand.

Theory Y would best describe the philosophy of a TQM organisation. The individual is viewed as being motivated from within and he/she can be trusted to work toward organisational goals Theory Y. The manager uses greater decentralisation of authority and relies less on coercion and control, and more on a democratic leadership style emphasising participative decision-making.

Congruent with the precepts of participative management. TQM links participation with power in ensuring quality production in the organisational context.

Features of Participative Management

Some companies still use conventional management methods, while others encourage employees to contribute to the suggestion box.

Some important characteristics of participatory management are:

  1. Proper Channel of Communication
  2. Recognition of Human Dignity
  3. Psychological Satisfaction with Employees
  4. Ethical Dimensions
  5. Empower Employees

1) Proper Channel of Communication

Participative forms of management encourage two-way communication. It is not only management that decides what employees need to do but it also encourages employees to participate in decision-making and give ideas and suggestions to make organisational processes better and more efficient. They are allowed to share their views, problems, ideas and feedback with their managers.

2) Recognition of Human Dignity

In this form of management, all employees are treated equally irrespective of their designations when it comes to giving ideas and suggestions for the organisational group decision making process. Employees are no more the servants of managers but are the most important assets of an organisation.

3) Psychological Satisfaction with Employees

Most of an employee’s life is spent at the workplace. Everyone needs to have psychological satisfaction as far as our employment is concerned. Commitment from the organisation, respecting the dignity of individuals and co-determining the company policies are some of the features of participative management that provide psychological satisfaction to employees.

4) Ethical Dimensions

Participatory management has ethical dimensions and is based on morals, principles and values. In this form of management, everyone is treated equally when it comes to organisational decision-making. It is based on employee empowerment, responsibility sharing and delegation of authority.

5) Empower Employees

A participative style of management gives employees a chance to participate in management processes. They are encouraged to come up with their new innovative ideas. Gone are the days when employees were headed by their managers. Now, they are to be treated like co-workers. This provides a higher status to employees in an organisation as they also have a say in decision-making.

Advantages of Participative Management

The management follows the technique of participatory management decision-making to improve the library and information service, which has the following advantages:

1. High Productivity

Participative Management ensures high productivity by involving staff in the decision-making process, providing good working conditions, motivation, and the ability to introduce desired results promptly. The outcomes are target-oriented, aligning with the goals and objectives of the organization. It taps into the talents, ideas, knowledge, and skills of individuals who might not be included in the decision-making process.

2. Superior Quality

Participative Management emphasizes that higher quality decisions and library services often result from these practices. Decisions are superior, mainly when the group comprises individuals with different areas of expertise but a common need for a solution.

3. Wider Acceptability

Group decisions are more readily accepted by the group. Participative decision-making helps resolve differences among group members and make decisions acceptable to all groups or individuals.

Disadvantages of Participative Management

There are also disadvantages to participative management decision-making.

1. Implementation Challenges

The implementation of tough decisions through participative decision-making sometimes stalls activities, shifting the problem from one committee to another.

2. Resource Intensive

Group decision making can be expensive regarding staff time. It typically takes more time than executive action, and the total cost should be estimated by multiplying the decision-making time by the number of people attending the group meeting.

3. Lower Quality Decisions

Lower-quality decisions may result from participative decision-making that could be more effective. Suppose superiors are present or one member has a dominant personality. In that case, the group decision may not genuinely represent the collective, impacting group morale negatively and serving as a demotivating factor, leading to frustration and uselessness.

Objectives of Participative Management

The main objectives for introducing a participative style of management in organisations are as follows:

1) To Meet the Psychological Needs of Employees

When employees have a say in the decision-making process, it provides them with psychological satisfaction. This simple force propels them to enhance their performance, establish effective communication channels, and devise practical solutions for designing better organisational processes.

2) To Increase Industrial Productivity

In today’s competitive world, job security, motivation, and high pay packages are not enough to increase industrial productivity. Leadership, delegation of authority, flexibility, industrial democracy and employee say in decision-making are important to increase the annual turnover of any organisation.

3) To Maintain a Proper Flow of Communication

Two-way communication plays an essential role in the success of any organisation. Employee participation in decision-making ensures proper flow of communication in the organisation. Everyone contributes their best and tries to strengthen the organisation by contributing their best to improve business processes.

4) To Make the Best Use of Human Capital

Participative management does not restrict organisations to exploiting only the physical capital of employees. Instead, it best uses individuals’ intellectual and emotional capital. It allows employees to contribute suggestions and ideas to improve business processes and create a better working environment.

6) Retain the Best Talent

Participatory management is one of the most effective strategies to retain the industry’s best talent. It gives employees a sense of fulfilment to have a say in the organisational decision-making. Once they are valued by their seniors, they stick to the organisation and become management’s partners in meeting specific goals and achieving success.

7) To Establish Harmonious Industrial Relationships

Participatory management is an unbeatable tact to establish and maintain cordial relationships with employees and workers’ unions. The success of every organisation depends on its human resources. Employee empowerment is a solid force that binds the employees and motivates them to give their best to the organisation.

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