EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING AND ITS IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY: AN APPRAISAL OF GOVERNMENT PRINTING PRESS AND TWO OTHER PRIVATE PUBLISHING FIRMS IN ENUGU  

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ABSTRACT

 This study has examined employee participation in decision making and its impact on productivity.  Three publishing outfits in Enugu were studied, namely: Government Printing  Press, ROCANA Nig Ltd and GOSTAK Nig Ltd. The population consisted of managers and employees in the three elected firms in Enugu Urban.  The sample for the study was 137.  Out of the 137 questionnaires administered, 105 were returned.  Oral interview was also used to obtain responses from some managers and employees.  The outcome of the study was analyzed by the use of tables and percentages while the three hypothesis formulated were tested by the use of chi-square. The study reveals that;

a)Participative decision making does not involve participation at all levels of management.

b)There is a positive relationship between participative management and productivity i.e to say participative management results in increased productivity.

c)The investment effort in the practice of participation has not been yielding the desired out put i.e increase productivity.

d)There are diverse perceptions of participation among the workers and managers.

e)The pressing problems facing the practice of participation is that employees and managers misconstrue participation in decision making.

Indeed participative management should be seen as an inevitable tool in any organization both public and private. The following recommendations were also put forward.

a)Managers should put more efforts in encouraging their employees to contribute to decision making and incorporate them into the organizational policy.

b)Managers should allow increased level of workers participation in decision making since they are the centre of operations and can say better on issues bearing on those areas.

c)Participative management should be redefined and properly applied so that peoples understanding and perception of what it is all about will be improved.  

d)The operators of businesses should take steps to set specific measurable objectives that participative management should aim to achieve.

CHAPTER ONE     

1.1 INTRODUCTION

 Over the years, the practice of organizational management demanded that employer/management would expect that workers will do the work that is set before them.  While this was a perfectly typical method of getting results through others in the early days of assembly line and scientific management, it is no longer true of today’s business.  The trend has changed in that management expects more from its workers than doing simply what is put before them.  It has also changed in that workers expect that more can be got from them by simply working according to the direction of the boss. However, with the rise of such theories as “participative management” and with increasing recognition that employees often have something valuable to contribute (beyond the accepted units of their normal job duties) .  Many companies are now actively seeking ways of getting employees to participate more in decision affecting them.  The worker  on the other hand expects to be asked how he feels about his job, and what his ideas are on how the work can be done more easily, better and faster.  The reason for this change in emphasis

is that management has discovered that there are tangible business value in soliciting and using the ideas of people at all levels in the organization.

 As the main objective of every business organization is long-term survival and in addition to have a competitive advantage over and above its competitors rather than being like the biblical seeds that fell on the way side and perished.  The secret of having this competitive advantage over others then lies on the productivity of the enterprise.  The increase in productivity can only be achieved mainly through the organizational workforce.  Increase in work life and productivity in an enterprise starts with the mind.  It starts with the improvement of an individual self-esteem and self worth.  It starts with helping an employee develop a higher degree of self-regard.

1.2  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In tracing the background of this concept of employee participation in decision making, one can infer it to be a household name in many countries of the world.  Japan’s success in the business world is attributed to employee participation.  Decision making is shared at all levels of management.  It is observed that decision making in Japanese firms are focussed on defining questions or issues rather than on finding solutions.  Thus all levels of the organization are involved in this process.  In the United states, industrial democracy is practiced, employees are encouraged to buy shares in companies thereby enabling them to have a say in the management of their organization.  In other developed countries like Britain, Yugoslavia and Germany, participatory management is popular.  In Britain and Yugoslavia, it is known as joint consultation and self management respectively while in Germany, it is known as co-determination.