1st Edition

Employee Voice and Participation Contested Past, Troubled Present, Uncertain Future

By Jeff Hyman Copyright 2018
    265 Pages
    by Routledge

    265 Pages
    by Routledge

    Employee participation and voice (EPV) concern power and influence. Traditionally, EPV has encompassed worker attempts to wrest control from employers through radical societal transformation or to share control through collective regulation by trade unions. This book offers a controversial alternative arguing that, in recent years, participation has shifted direction.

    In Employee Voice and Participation, the author contends that participation has moved away from employee attempts to secure autonomy and influence over organisational affairs, to one in which management ideas and initiatives have taken centre stage. This shift has been bolstered in the UK and USA by economic policies that treat regulation as an obstacle to competitive performance. Through an examination of the development of ideas and practice surrounding employee voice and participation, this volume tracks the story from the earliest attempts at securing worker control, through to the rise of trade unions, and today’s managerial efforts to contain union influence. It also explores the negative consequences of these changes and, though the outlook is pessimistic, considers possible approaches to address the growing power imbalance between employers and workers.

    Employee Voice and Participation will be an excellent supplementary text for advanced students of employment relations and Human Resource Management (HRM). It will also be a valuable read for researchers, policy makers, trade unions and HRM professionals.

    Acknowledgements, Abbreviations. Introduction: history and evolution of employee participation, Why the need for a new book on employee participation?, Problems of definition, Measuring EPV, Industrial democracy, Employee participation, Employee involvement, Conclusions. 1. Why do employee participation and voice matter?, Introduction, Links between EPV and democratic values, Associations between discretion and autonomy at work and dignity, satisfaction, employee health and wellbeing, Impact of EPV on economic performance and productivity, Conclusions. 2. Political perspectives on employee participation and voice, Introduction, Coordinated and liberal markets, The role and impact of legislation, Government intervention in the European Union, Conclusions. 3. Management perspectives on employee participation and voice, Introduction, The defensive role of EPV, Humanisation of work, Strategy and human resource management, Organisational and human resource management strategy, Management and EPV, Conclusions. 4. Employee and trade union perspectives on employee participation and voice, Introduction, What do employees want?, Precarious work, A voice for the precarious worker?, Voice and silence, Employees and trade unions in Europe, Conclusions. 5. Profit sharing and employee share ownership – panacea or gimmick?, Introduction, The range of financial participation, Profit-sharing schemes, Employee share schemes, Employee ownership, Conclusions. 6. High-performance work and its antecedents, Introduction, Origins of HPWS: lean production, The influence of people management, Research on HPWSs, Conclusions. 7. Empowering and engaging employees, or simply reinventing the wheel?, Introduction, Employee empowerment, Employee engagement, Conclusions. 8. What’s not to like about teamworking?, Introduction, Why teamworking?, Types of teams, What makes a team?, The question of team autonomy, Teams and lean, Conclusions. 9. Collective participation, Introduction, The decline of collective bargaining in the UK, Collective bargaining experience in Europe, Different directions? Joint consultation in the UK and Europe, Works councils and codetermination: the experience of Europe, Supervisory boards and codetermination, Partnership at work: a tale of two systems, Conclusions. 10. Internationalisation and the impact of European Works Councils, Introduction and background, Forms and processes of EWCs, Early research on EWCs, Revision of the Directive and the 2009 Recast, EWC experience following the 2009Recast, Conclusions. 11. Global markets and prospects for employee emancipation, The context for globalisation, China and voice, India and voice, Conclusions. 12. An uncertain future?, Introduction: a contested past, EPV: a troubled present, EPV: an uncertain future?, The impact on the UK of leaving the EU, Prospects for EPV, Closing the participation gap, The future of work. References


    Jeff Hyman is Professor Emeritus in Employment Relations at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and Honorary Professor of Management at the University of St Andrews, UK. His long-standing research and teaching interests are in employee participation and the future of work.

    "A magisterial review of employee voice and participation, combining deep awareness of long-standing debates with critical analysis of topical issues, such as employee engagement. Professor Hyman highlights the threats to employee voice from market-driven performance management, both here and abroad. An essential text for anyone interested in employee participation."

    Andrew Pendleton, Professor of Human Resource Management, Durham Business School, UK

    "Drawing on an impressive range of political, management, trade union and employee perspectives, this book addresses employee voice but also pressing employment issues, such as precarious work. Its broad-ranging, reflective view is refreshing and engaging. Essential reading for PhD students in HRM/employment studies, and for senior undergraduates and postgraduates either as a whole or for individual topic chapters."

    Dora Scholarios, Professor of Work Psychology, Strathclyde Business School, UK

    "An excellent book starting from the position that employee participation is about control and influence at work.  Taking a historical perspective and assessing developments from different actor perspectives (state, employers, employees) the author shows how fashions have waxed and waned as well as situating current narratives in the context of the changing world of work. The author argues that whilst labour market flux is by no means new the pluralist structures that underpinned Western economies are threatened by a number of market-driven directions, restricting the ability of workers to express independent voice."

    Adrian Wilkinson, Director, Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Griffith University, Australia