Assignment - 1,500 words.
Outline the advantages and disadvantages of participatory approaches to the management of change in work organizations. In your answer discuss how participation can be used in the design of work equipment, work environments, work tasks and work processes. Present your work as an academic essay of up to 1,500 words.
This assignment addresses the questions related to the participatory approaches within the context of management of change in work organizations. The examination of questions of this type is imperative since modern business requires it. Unfortunately, this is usually ignored in the formulation of policies on the subject. This paper, therefore, argues that as well as having advantages the participatory approaches also possess some flaws. In other words, their potential as a vehicle for speeding up work processes has not yet been explored to its fullest extent.
According to some surveys (Bennis, 1966; Bowers, 1973; Guest, 1962) four forms of participative approach have been applied within the organizational settings: a) participation in setting goals; b) participation in decision making, usually defined as selection from predetermined alternatives; c) participation in solving problems, sometimes referred to as "non-programmed" decision making (March and Simon, 1958); d) participation in the development and implementation of change in organization. However, participatory methods could be implemented on an individual, dyadic, or group basis; in brief, these three models appear to be or to possess comprehensive typology of participative methods.
Therefore, the different types and methods of participative approaches are aimed at different worker needs, operate in somewhat different ways, and have different kinds of outcomes (Sashkin, 1975). In reality, the four types of participation differ primarily in that goal setting and decision making operate solely through ownership and information flow means, and lead to content outcomes ( increased acceptance and improved quality, respectively); while at the same time problem solving and participation in change operate through additional means, and lead to process outcomes ( as well as content outcomes).
Thus, a general factor within the effective implementation of any change in the work organizations is the degree to which the method of change "fits" or is in harmony with the aim or goal of change. Paul, Robertson and Herzberg (1969) state that workers should not participate in job re-design for job enrichment. Notwithstanding the positives, their opinions support the fact to try to avoid potential "Hawthorne effect", or simply put, improvements due solely to the individual feelings of special attention) (Paul et all, 1969). In reality, their positive effects simply indicate that job enrichment can be effective change without worker participation in the change process.
Furthermore, the latter could be due to two basic reasons. First, there is the possibility of cultural contingency factor. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons that the participatory approaches failed in a Norwegian factory was the belief on part of the workers that such participation was not legitimate, especially within the context of the Norwegian work culture ( the union was seen as the legitimate agent for many participative activities which workers were being asked to engage in) (French et all, 1960).
Having in mind all of the abovementioned, it is important to state the fact that participatory approaches within the management of change in work organizations increase worker effectiveness through meeting the human work needs of control of own behavior and task completion (Myers, 1970). Meanwhile, worker participation in developing the changes need not hinder the change process, and might prove of some benefit, such participation is simply not required since it is not really an element of the change aim.
Advantages of participatory approaches
The participatory approach to the management of change in work organizations always possesses certain benefits for the stakeholders involved:
- Quote paper
- Silvia Stamenova (Author), 2018, Speeding Up Work Processes which hasn’t been Explored to its Fullest Extent yet, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/388627