In India, according to the Industrial Policy Resolution 1956, the aim of the government in advocating workers’ participation in management is “a part of its overall endeavour to create a socialist society, wherein the sharing of a part of the managerial powers by workers in considered necessary”.
The purpose which workers’ participation in management try to achieve, in the words of the Second Five year Plan, are:
(a) Increasing productivity for the general benefit of the enterprise, the employees and the community;
(b) Giving employees a better understanding of their role in the working of the industry and in the process of production; and
(c) Satisfying the workers urge for self-expression, thus leading to industrial peace, better relations and increased co-operation. It is a means of giving the workers an opportunity to express their solidarity and opinion in attaining firm’s objective.
The objectives may be achieved as a result of the consequences flowing from the process of workers participation. These consequences are:
(i) Challenging work for workers;
(ii) Heightened sense of responsibility;
(iii) Meaningful relationship to work;
(iv) Availability of workers’ ideas and suggestions to managements.
(v) Realistic management decisions, with a democratic bias
(vi) Accommodation, change, motivation and commitment to implement decisions; (v/7) Better two-way communication; and relationship
(viii) Better workers-supervisor relations at the work place.
The employer’s realisation of the need for worker’s participation in management was considerably influenced by the following factors:
(i) The increased use of technology in industry which has necessitated the wholehearted co-operation of workers because of the complex operations of production; (ii) The changed view that employees are no longer servants but are equal partners with their employers
in their efforts to attain the goals of the enterprise; (iii) The growth of trade unions which safeguard the interests of workers and protect them against possible exploitation by their employers;
(iv) The growing interest of the government in the development of industries and the welfare of workers; and
(v) The used for increased and uninterrupted production which can be achieved only where there is a motivated and cooperative labour class.
While management takes this participation as “a means of effective use of human resources,” trade unions consider it as “a means of establishing their influence and power”. Some consider these as “a counter-balance to the power of managers”.
The objectives of the worker’s scheme vary from country to country, because they largely start from their soci-economic development of country, philosophy, industrial relations, and the attitude of the working class.
Accordingly, the objectives may be democratisation of management, eliciting workers co-operation in the attainment of corporate goals, personalisation and humanisation of the management process, and behavioural approach to the management of workers-management relations, etc.