The SAGE Handbook of Industrial Relations provides a systematic, comprehensive survey of the field. The result is a work of unprecedented scope and unparalleled ambition. It offers a compete guide to the central debates, new developments, and emerging themes in the field. It will quickly be recognized as the indispensable reference for teachers, students and researchers. It is relevant to economists, lawyers, sociologists, business and management researchers, and Industrial Relations specialists.

Chapter 23: Employee Involvement and Direct Participation

Employee Involvement and Direct Participation

Employee involvement and direct participation

Introduction

Employee involvement and direct participation by workers in decisions which affect their working lives have long been a focus of industrial relations (IR) scholarship. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, direct participation was promoted by state agencies in many developed countries as a means to ‘humanize’ work and reduce industrial conflict (Ramsay, 1977). Since the early 1980s there has been growing attention focused on the economic benefits of direct participation and management has been at the forefront of introducing employee involvement schemes in a number of countries. During the 1980s, for example, there was considerable experimentation with Japanese- style joint consultation in a number of countries (see Bradley and Hill, 1983). During the 1990s arguments ...

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