In this article we will discuss about the arguments in favour and against participation of workers in management.
Arguments in favour to Participate In Management:
The concept of workers’ participation in management is very important from the workers and the management point of view. The scheme is very useful to promote industrial and human relations in industry provided the scheme is implemented honestly and without any reservations.
It may help minimising the labour disputes because both labour and management are the partners in the welfare of industry. All the problems concerning the workers and the concern are resolved amicably.
The importance of this scheme can be judged from the following facts on the basis of which one can agree for the implementation of the scheme:
1. Mutual Understanding:
In a capitalistic economy, workers and capitalists are two groups having different interests. Both doubt integrity of each other because both are ignorant of each other’s problems and never try to know them. The workers’ participation extends the mutual understanding. The workers and employers come nearer to each other and understand each other’s difficulties and problems. It gives employees a better understanding of their role in the working of the industry and of the process of production.
2. Increase in Production:
Cooperation of workers results in increased production and productivity. Better understanding and good relations are the pre-requisites of higher and better production.
Production and productivity cannot be increased without effective cooperation of the workers and management. Increased production will benefit the employers’ community and the workers as well.
3. Eliminating Industrial Disputes:
As the workers become the partners of the industry and take part in the decision-making, they extend full cooperation to the management in carrying out the decision. They have a sense of loyalty and better understanding.
4. Increase Efficiency of Workers:
Under the scheme workers are abide by their own decision and work with their full zeal to carry out the decision. Thus, their efficiency and productivity are increased to great extent which benefits both the parties to the labour in shape of increased wages and to the management in form of increased and better production.
5. No Outside Intervention:
The employees and the employer become responsible for carrying out the decision and industrial relations are improved hence industrial disputes become negligible.
6. Industrial Democracy:
Industrial democracy means participation of all parties concerned or affected in the management of industries. When workers participate in the management true industrial democracy is established. Their ego is satisfied and they contribute something positive in the interest of the industry themselves and of the country because the can express themselves better put their problems and grievances at the work.
7. No Resistance of Change:
Change is generally resisted by workers because every change is regarded by workers a threat to stability. But, if workers are given a right to participate in the decision-making bodies, they will adjust themselves to the changed environment and once the workers are taken into confidence introduction of change is very smooth.
8. Creativity of Employees can be Spotted Out:
Participation offers an opportunity to intelligent employees to demonstrate their knowledge, skill, imitativeness as well as creativity. Highly capable persons having talent can be easily spotted out and offered due promotion. Thus, participation enables the management to capitalise the talent and ability of employees.
Arguments against the Participation of Workers in Management:
The arguments generally offered in favor of the scheme of workers’ participation in management. But the employers have not favoured the scheme and the workers are also not enthusiastic in this connection.
The scheme is criticised by the employers on the following grounds:
1. Workers are Inefficient:
Indian workers are inefficient and uneducated in the eyes of the management and are not competent in taking the decision. It delays the implementation of the decision. Sometimes a good decision remains unimplemented as it is not supported by the workers.
2. No Participation Possible in Complicated Problems:
Participation cannot be extended to complicated problems of financing, marketing, production, managerial functions, such as planning, directing, coordinating controlling etc. These functions require specialised knowledge. Management today has assumed professional character demanding services of experts such as financiers, engineers, managers, accountants, chemists, statisticians etc. These experts are well equipped with the modern methods and techniques to the job they are assigned.
3. Weak Trade Unions:
Trade union movement is not quite strong in our country. There are multiple trade unions and are dominated mainly by political leaders and with political ideologies. Participation in India can succeed only when labour is duly organised so that they can work on equal footings. For successful participation, it is very necessary to have one representative trade union in one unit.
To sum up the view, it can be concluded that in India a large number of workers are below the poverty line and they are not even assumed fair or need-based wages. The average worker has neither time, nor energy, nor interest in exercising their right to participate in the management at higher level. Under such circumstances full-fledged participation of labour in management is not a practical proposition.
However, workers may be or should be given opportunities to participate at plant level through asking them suggestions to various labour problems or giving them representation at plant level should be restricted also to the problems concerning workers. Any problem relating to the industry requiring specialised or expert knowledge cannot be consulted with the workers. General managerial functions should also be reserved for management experts.
Though the position in India has improved much since Independence, workers are now matured and have better understanding than before. It has been experienced that in industry where the scheme is implemented, the efficiency and productivity of workers have increased and labour relations have improved much. Workers feel themselves more responsible.
So, in the first instance, they should be given an opportunity to participate at plant level and in due course at higher and higher level. But for the successful implementation, it is a prerequisite that both management and workers should have a complete mental revolution. If the scheme is implemented honestly, it would benefit all parties concerned, i.e., employer, employees, society, Government and country.