Participative Management

The world today is filled up with working places and organizations. Every organization is putting its efforts to run the trade and commerce of the world. The top most organizations of the world such as Intel, Microsoft and IBM are the best because they have the best human resource. The human resource of a company plays the most vital role which pushes the organization to the zenith of their expectations.

The main aspect of an organizations success is the team work and management of time and resources.

According to Wikipedia, “Teamwork is the concept of people, working together cooperatively or as a team in order to accomplish the same goals and objectives”.

A general dictionary defines teamwork as a “Cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group (sociology) of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause, unison for a higher cause, people working together for a selfless purpose, and so on.”

Some things cannot be accomplished by people working all by them selves.

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Larger, more ambitious goals usually require a number of people work together with other people. Because of this obstacle, teamwork is a desired goal of many leading businesses and organizations today.

Projects often require those people who can work together in order to accomplish a common goal. Although critics often argue that in the corporate business world teamwork has become an empty buzzword, or a form of corporate-speak. Effective collaborative skills (knowledge) are necessary to work well in an environment like this.

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As businesses and organizations become larger or more complicated. Many employers attempt to enhance their employees’ collaborative efforts through self-training, cross-training and conducting workshops in order to help people effectively work together in a group and accomplish shared goals.

What is participative management?

Participative management can be easily explained as “An open form of management where employees have a strong decision-making role”. Participative management is developed by managers who actively seek a strong cooperative relationship with their employees and colleagues. The advantages of participative management include increased productivity, improved quality, and reduced costs

Once Ken Blanchard said, “None of us is as smart as all of us”.

Participative (or participatory) management, otherwise known as employee involvement or participative decision making, encourages the involvement of stakeholders at all levels of an organization in the analyzing of problems, development of strategies and implementation of solutions. Employees are brought together to share in the decision-making process of the firms by participating in activities such as setting goals, determining work schedules and putting forward suggestions. Other forms of participative management include increasing the responsibility of employees (job enrichment); forming self-managed teams, quality circles, or quality-of-work-life committees; and soliciting survey feedback. Participative management, however, involves more than allowing employees to take part in making their own decisions too. It also involves management treating the ideas and suggestions of employees with consideration and respect. The most extensive form of participative management is direct employee ownership of a company.

Four processes influence participation. These processes create employee involvement as they are pushed down to the lowest levels in an organization. The farther down these processes move, the higher the level of involvement by employees. The four processes include:

1. Information sharing, which is concerned with keeping employees informed about the economic status of the company.

2. Training involves raising the skill levels of employees and offering development opportunities that allow them to apply new skills to make effective decisions regarding the organization as a whole.

3. Employee decision making, which can take many forms, from determining work schedules to deciding on budgets or processes.

4. Rewards, which should be tied to suggestions and ideas as well as performance.

Benefits of participative management

A participative management style offers various benefits at all levels of an organization. By creating a sense of ownership in a company, participative management instills a sense of pride and motivates employees to increase productivity in order to achieve their goals. Employees who participate in the decisions of the company feel like they are a big part of a team with a common goal and find their sense of self-esteem and creative fulfillment heightened which results in a brilliant motivation which increases the productivity of an individual.

Managers who use a participative style find that employees are more receptive to change than in situations in which they have no voice or part. Changes are implemented more effectively when employees have input and make contributions to decisions. Participation keeps employees informed of upcoming events so they will be aware of potential changes. The organization can then place itself in a proactive mode instead of a reactive one, as managers are able to quickly identify areas of concern and turn to employees for solutions.

Participation helps employees gain a wider view of the organization. Through training, development opportunities, and information sharing, employees can acquire the conceptual skills needed to become effective managers or top executives. It also increases the commitment of employees to the organization and the decisions they make.

Creativity and innovation are two important benefits of participative management. By allowing a diverse group of employees to have input into decisions, the organization benefits from the synergy that comes from a wider choice of options. When all employees, instead of just managers or executives, are given the opportunity to participate, the chances is increased that a valid and unique idea will be suggested.

Requirements of participative management

A common misconception by managers is that participative management involves simply asking employees to participate or make suggestions or take part in making changes. Effective programs involve more than just a suggestion box. In order for participative management to work, several issues must be resolved and several requirements must be met. First, managers must be willing to relinquish some control to their workers; managers must feel secure in their position in order for participation to be successful. Often managers do not realize that employees’ respect for them will increase instead of decrease when they implement a participative management style where all of the employees are considered eligible to give suggestions.

The success of participative management depends on effective planning and a slow, phased approach. Changing employees’ ideas about management takes time, as does any successful attempt at a total cultural change from a democratic or autocratic style of management to a participative style. Long-term employees may resist changes, not believing they will last. In order for participation to be effective, managers must be genuine and honest in implementing the program. Many employees will need to consistently see proof that their ideas will be accepted or at least seriously considered. The employees must be able to trust their managers and feel they are respected.

. It is important to remember that the manager may not agree with every idea or suggestion given by an employee, how those ideas are received is critical to succeed in participative management. Participatory management does not work with employees who are passive or simply do not care about the organization. Many times employees do not have the skills or information necessary to make good suggestions or decisions too. In this case, it is important to provide them with information or training; so they can make informative choices about their field of expertise. One way to help employees engage in the decision-making process is by knowing their individual strengths and capitalizing on them. By guiding employees towards such areas in which they are knowledgeable, a manager can help to ensure their success. Managers should also give employees time to think about ideas or alternative decisions. Employees often do not do their most creative thinking on the spot and take little bit of more time.

Another important element for implementing a successful participative management style is the visible integration of employees’ suggestions into the final decision or implementation of the decision. Employees need to know that they have made a contribution to the thought of the organization and should be appreciated for it. Offering employees a choice in the final decision is important because it increases their commitment, motivation, and job satisfaction. Sometimes even just presenting several alternatives and allowing employees to choose from them is as effective as if they thought of the alternatives themselves. The key is to build employee confidence so their ideas and decisions can become more creative and sound.


Participative management is not a magic cure for all that ails an organization. Managers should carefully weigh the pros and the cons before implementing this style of management to their own. Managers must realize that changes will not take effect overnight and will require consistency and patience before employees will begin to see that the management is serious about employee involvement. Participative management is probably the most difficult style of management to practice. It is challenging not only for managers but for employees as well.

Participative management programs can be threatened by office politics. Due to hidden agendas and peer pressure, employees may keep their opinions to themselves and refuse to tell a manager if they feel an idea will not work. A Manager also plays a part in politics when they implement participative management programs to impress their own bosses but have no intention of seeing them through.

“The old structures are being reformed. As organizations seek to become more flexible in the face of rapid environmental change and more responsive to the needs of customers, they are experimenting with new, team-based structures” (Jackson & Ruderman, 1996).

Why Team Building is necessary

Teamwork is essential for competing in today’s global arena, where individual perfection is not as desirable as a high level of collective performances. In knowledge based enterprises, teams are the norm. A critical feature of this team is that they have a significant degree of empowerment or decision-making authority. There are many different kinds of teams: top management teams, focused task forces, self-directed teams, concurrent engineering teams, product/service development and/or launch teams, quality improvement teams, and so on.

Team vs. Group

Not all groups in organizations are teams, but all teams are groups. The difference between a team and a group is that a team is interdependent for overall performance. A group qualifies as a team, only if its members focus on helping one another to accomplish organizational objectives and goals. In today’s quickly changing business environments, teams have emerged as a requirement for the success of business. Therefore, managers and leads should constantly try to help groups become teams and facilitate the evolution of groups into teams.

Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), football coach for the NFL, once said: ”People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society”.

Importance of Teamwork

The importance of teamwork is presented in every seminar you attend or business book you read. Without teamwork, houses take longer to build. Governments collapse. Without teamwork, people lose their inspiration and motivation. Importance of the world is known with team work and it has played a part in company turnarounds. Our teamwork training programs dispel the negative myths of teamwork while developing and encouraging the importance of teamwork that can be enjoyed by all parties involved in it. There are three main steps involved with instilling the importance of teamwork within a company environment:

1) Begin with the end in mind – Make a specific list of how your employees, customers and business as a whole will benefit, when they see the true importance of teamwork and team playing. Only then you can outline your objectives and goals which you have to achieve.

2) Make a plan – Do you have the resources to develop teamwork internally? Or, do you need to bring in some experts to assemble and conduct a customized training program for your business team? This is a critical decision on your part and a corporate training company would love the opportunity to discuss how a team would work after learning their outstanding training methods.

3) Quantify and monitor results – The results from teamwork can be measured but only if you have a defined process in place. This measuring process will be the fuel you will need to convince the management and the staff that ongoing efforts would be made to increase teamwork efficiency cordially. Once management and staff alike experience the importance of teamwork, they will be fueled to achieve even more and to touch the heights.

Cite this page

Participative Management. (2016, Dec 05). Retrieved from

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