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Employee Involvement and Employee Participation - Essay Example

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What do you understand by the terms employee involvement and employee participation? To what extend can the current interest in shared capitalism be viewed as a form of employee involvement? What do you understand by the terms employee involvement and employee participation?…
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Download file to see previous pages However, the increase of competition in all industries worldwide resulted to severe turbulences in most firms’ internal and external environment. In this context, efforts are made so that the interests of employees are adequately promoted ensuring that job satisfaction and employee performance are at high levels. Moreover, emphasis is given on the involvement of employees in all organizational activities. The modes of employee participation and employee involvement, as these terms reflect different aspects of the employment relationship, are analyzed below. Particular reference is made to shared capitalism which is often regarded as a form of employee involvement. Employee involvement is differentiated from employee participation. In order to understand the characteristics of these two terms it would be necessary to refer to their definitions, as they have been developed in the literature published in this field. In accordance with Foot and Hook (2008) employee involvement is used in order to reflect the right of employee to participation in various phases of organizational activities. It is explained that the above right is provided to employees in order for their engagement and productivity to be increased (Foot and Hook 2008). On the other hand, Secord (2003) defined employee involvement as ‘a range of processes designed to engage the support, understanding and optimum contribution of all employees in an organization’ (Secord 2003, p.231). From a similar point of view, Cummings and Worley (2008) note that employee involvement reflects ‘the participation of employees in various organizational decisions’ (Cummings and Worley 2008, p. 350). The cases of Wells Fargo and Verizon as mentioned as examples of the potential effects of employee involvement in organizational decisions. It is explained that the above organizations supported employee involvement, by encouraging their employees to suggest practices that would help towards the increase of organizational performance. In accordance with Kirkman, Lowe and Young (1999) employee involvement can have three levels: ‘a) the parallel suggestion involvement, b) the job involvement and c) the high involvement, or, else, empowerment’ (Kirkman, Lowe and Young 1999, p.4). The mode of employee involvement promoted within a particular organization is depended on the organization’s culture but also on its aims. Employee involvement, as described above, is differentiated from employee participation, a term used in order to describe the regulation of employment relationship by the state. Of course, employee participation can also refer to empowerment and participation in decision-making but it refers to these activities as related rather to industrial democracy, i.e. for highlighting a right given by the state, as for instance, the collective bargaining right (Evans 2001). In accordance with Rose (2008) employee participation can be defined as ‘the extent to which employees and their representatives should and do enter into joint decision making with management’ (Rose 2008, p.335). Winstanley and Woodall (2000) note that since 1980s the context of employee participation has been changed; in its new form, the term employee participation is used in order to show the increase of employee commitment as a means for promoting organizational change. In any case employee involvement often incorporates the elements of employee parti ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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