After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Workers’ Participation 2. Characteristics of Workers’ Participation 3. Objectives 4. Levels 5. Advantages.

Meaning of Workers’ Participation:

Workers’ participation in management is based on many considerations including political, economic, psychological and social. Political democracy and industrial democracy have to go hand in hand. For survival and growth, an organisation needs to continuously endeavour to cut down costs, improves productivity and quality by updating technology and improving work methods.

In this economic endeavour, involvement of employees is a must. It is only when the socio-psychological needs of employees such as esteem needs; self-actualization needs are ful­filled, that the employee can give his best to the organisation. The employee needs a sense of identity and by way of participation; he feels to have achieved it.

Participation is a democratic method of the development process which enables people for decision-making and acceptance of changes that affect their lives.


It includes:

(a) Involvement of people right from planning to execution;

(b) Enabling people for decision-making; and

(c) Com­bining and utilizing human resources.


Participative management concept is a powerful tool of industrial relation system. It is based on industrial democracy and develops team spirit with the employees, and belongingness in them. This helps in realisation of common objectives.

Participative Management may be defined as a system of communication and consultation either formal or informal to keep employees of the organisation informed about the affairs of the concerns through which they can express their opinions and contribute to management decisions.

Characteristics of Workers’ Participation:

1. It increases the scope of employees’ share of influence in decision-making at different levels of the organisational hierarchy.

2. Participation has to be at different levels of management in regard to policy formula­tion and execution.


3. It presupposes willing acceptance of responsibilities by workers.

4. Participative forms and practices provide for association of workers representatives.

5. Its aim is to transfer management functions to the workers.

Objectives of Workers’ Participation:

1. Establish a good communication system.


2. To develop a sense of involvement among workers.

3. Promote mutual understanding between management and workers.

4. To develop a sense of commitment to decisions to which they are a party.

5. To create a sense of belongingness among workers.


6. To create a climate for cordial and harmonious employer-employee relation,

7. To handle resistance to change, if need arises for a change.

Levels of Workers’ Participation:

1. Information Participation.

2. Consultative Participation


3. Associative Participation

4. Administrative Participation

5. Decisive Participation

Advantages of Workers’ Participation:

(a) Advantages to the Employees:


These include a sense of identity and belongingness, motivation to perform better. When an organisation performs better, he will have economic gains in terms of increased wages and incentives and better standard of living.

(b) Advantages to the Organization:

These include, improved quality of decision-making, better implementation of the decisions, better quality performances, resulting in better profit, easier acceptability of change of technology etc., on the part of employees, better materialisation of creative ideas and suggestions.