Human Resource Management

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Employee Involvement

Based on Human Resource Management (4th Edition) by Alan Price - published by Cengage

Employee involvement is a wide-ranging topic that hinges on the notion that managers may have a prerogative to manage but this prerogative should not be exercised without considering the opinions of their employees (see Key concept 10.6). The concept of employee involvement has a moral, practical and legal basis. The moral dimension is difficult to resolve since it involves an ethical debate on the ‘right’ of managers to manage and the ‘right’ of employees to have a say in the way the organization is managed. Fundamentally, it is a matter of personal opinion. The practical and legal aspects are more easily explained and justified.

There are sound practical reasons for taking account of employee views before making significant decisions. They include an acknowledgement of the greater and more detailed knowledge that experienced employees may have of specific processes when compared with a manager who may be relatively new or who has never been involved at a working level with those processes. Changes may seem perfectly reasonable and desirable to the manager, operating at a distance from the activity to be changed. But skilled workers may be aware of implications that are invisible to the manager. In fact, the concept of knowledge management is based on the value of individual expertise and experience that need to be harnessed and used for the benefit of the organization - rather than being ignored by overconfident and unwise managers.

More on pages 252-258 of Human Resource Management, 4th edition


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