The Impact of Employee Participation in Decision Making on Organizational Productivity

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2019

56 Pages, Grade: 8.9



1.1 Background of the study:
1.2 Statement of problem:
1.3 Objective of the study:
1.4 Research Hypotheses:
1.5 Significance of the study:
1.6 Scopeand limitation of the study:
1.7 Definition of terms:
1.8 Organization of the study:

2.1 Introduction:
2.2 Concept of participation:
2.3 Expressed views concerning employee participation:
2.4 Leadership styles and degree of participation:
2.5 Conditions and influences on participation:
2.6 Arguments for participative management:
2.7 Arguments against participative management:
2.8 Methods of involving employees in decision making:
2.9 Enhancing productivity through participation:
2.10 Employee involvement in decision making and culture:

3.0 Research methodology:
3.1 sources of data collection:
3.3 Population of the study:
3.4 Sampling and sampling distribution:
3.5 Validation of research instrument:
3.6 Method of data analysis:

4.1 Introductions:
4.2 Data analysis:

5.1 Introduction:
5.2 Summary:
5.3 Conclusion:
5.4 Recommendation:



The dissertation titled "THE IMPACT OF EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING ON ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY" is my original work and the dissertation has not formed the basis for the award of any degree, associateship, fellowship or any other. The material borrowed from similar titles other sources and incorporated in the dissertation has been duly acknowledged.

The research papers published based on the research conducted out of the course of the study are also based on the study and not borrowed from other sources.

"I do hereby attest that I am the sole author of this project/thesis and that its contents are only the result of the readings and research I have done".


I would also like to thank all my perpetual source of inspiration for their valuable mentoring and inputs. Their constant support and invaluable advice have always guided me towards the right direction. They helped me to know various phenomena related to the research practices which further gave an impetus to channelize my study in an appropriate way. I sincerely thank them for their treasured guidance without which this dissertation would have never been possible.

Lastly, I express my deep sense of gratitude to the almighty, my family members, friends & colleagues who have directly and indirectly helped me in this dissertation.


This study is on the impact of employee participation in decision making on organizational productivity. The total population for the study is 200 staff of EMENITE PLC, Lagos state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made human processing engineers, electricians, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies



1.1 Background of the study

Decision according to the oxford advance learner is the action of deciding a conclusion reached and a judgment arrived at. Therefore, decision-making is the most germane activities of management of multifarious organization ranging from small-scale organization to multinational corporations. Decision-making styles throughout organizations are changing because the task, the environment and the people have changed. We are no longer marching troops into battle; we do not want blind obedience. Competitive advantages are now the result of employee making decision thinking being creative and asking questions. When most managers are honest, they will acknowledge that their employee often have greater knowledge about the work than they do. Clearly, effectiveness can only be achieved with their total involvement management at time, see decision to the heart of their job in that, they must always choose what is to be done who will do it where and most at time now it will be done. It is based on the above that the research wishes to assess the impact of employee participation in decision making and Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten also on organization productivity in Nigeria public sector organization using Emenite Pic as a case study


In Nigeria today, there has been lot of controversy as to whether an employee should participate in managerial decision-making or not. Many writers argued that employees should contribute in making decision especially where it affects them or their job. It is expected that such participation will serve as training and testing ground for future members of upper management. The authors maintained that qualified reasonably honest and company-oriented individual are not available at these lower organizational level but the big question is qualified individuals really available? These underlay the need for an investigation study.


The purpose of this research study is to assess the impact of employee's participation in managerial decision making in public sector organization in Nigeria a with reference to EMENITE PLC THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ARE.

a. To assess the impact of employee participation in management decision making EMENITE PLC
b. To investigate the impact of employee participation in management decision on productivity of the organization
c. To make recommendation based on the research finding


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

Ho: there is no impact of employee participation in management decision making EMENITE PLC

Hi: there is an impact of employee participation in management decision making EMENITE PLC

H02: there is no impact of employee participation in management decision on productivity of the organization

H2: there is impact of employee participation in management decision on productivity of the organization


In all aspect this research work will be relevant to the managers and employees of EMENITE PLC. It will also be beneficial to another public sector organization in Nigeria. Also, it will be of vital importance to government, academically potential and future researcher on the issue of employee participation in managerial decision making. This empirical is also germane to the researcher since it is a partial requirement for the award of higher national diploma in public administration and management.


Particularly this research work focuses on the impact of employee participation in decision making and organizational productivity using EMENITE PLC Lagos as a case study. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


i. Decision making: This selection from among alternative of a course of action. ii. Productivity: A measure of how well resource is brought together in organization and utilized for accomplishing a set result.
iii. Management: These are made up of top and middle level management. Top management includes shareholder boards of directors and managing director while the middle management includes heads of department manager deputy and assistant deputy.
iv. Germane: Relevant important or pertinent
v. Heart of their job: As it is used in the research work means their main job. 1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study



For a clear-cut understanding of this study, the review of related literature will be made in this chapter which in turn will create a focus and better direction. In this light, the literature will discuss first the concept of participation, highlight of expressed views concerning employee participation will be made. Other segments of the literature as leadership style and degree of participation, conditions for participation, influences on participation, arguments for participation, arguments against participation and productivity improvement through participative management and others etc. will be discussed. Management, as defined by Mary Parker Folliet is the art of doing things through people to achieve an objective. A vital concept towards attaining objectives is decision making -making a choice out of alternatives. The choice should conceptually benefit the manager, of the business, the subordinates, the owners of the business and more importantly the public. Decisions made by management and implemented through people, that is, the subordinates. The question then is, should the one to implement the decision have a say in what he should implement.


Several management strategies have been developed to enable organizations attain their objectives, one of which is participatory management. Adeola S. (1994, p. 23) defines participation as the active involvement of subordinates of followers in the making of decisions that directly affect them in the work place. Participation in decision making is generally regarded as a sign of enlightened and democratic management. It may be through of the giving and receiving of information, achieve and suggestion and the sharing of experience among members of an organization. In management, Murew (1967 p. 83) opined that "participation particularly applies to allowing the employees) to have a voice in shaping policies, procedures and processes that directly or indirectly affect". It is therefore a process of sharing among managers and employees. Though the use of participation also, individual members are involved in a wide range of objective setting, problem solving, and decision-making activities of the organization. Davis (1981 p.156) stated that participation is a mental and emotional involvement of persons in group situations that encourage them to contribute to group goals and share responsibility for them. Lewin (1969 p. 21) defined it as a mode of organizational operation in which decision as to activities are arrived at by the person, who are to execute those decisions. However, participation from my own point of view, I can say is a process in which two or more parties influence each other in making decisions. The parties to the decision-making process may be in their capacities as individuals or as groups. In participatory management, management selectively shares, some of its powers with employees. It takes into consideration the wishes and suggestions of the members as well as those of the leader. It is a human relations approach where all members of the group are seen as Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten important contributors to the firm's decisions. Gurin, Veroff and Feld (1979) concluded that participation is really a middle-class value, and grows out of the prior expectations of those being supervised. Vroom (1964) points out two distinctions in the definition of participation. The first he calls "psychological" (you think you are participating in the decision that affect you), and the second "objective" (you actually participate strongly in the decisions that affect you whether you know it or not). Vrooms study is essence shows or through some interesting light on how follower personalities affect participation per se, is not a Programme but rather a dramatic change in the way most companies take decisions and operate on a day-to-day basis, which efficiency and productivity by managers of organizations and on the oath The concept of participation in an organization can therefore be summarized as a process by which an organization attempts to unlock the creative potentials of its people by involving them in decisions affecting their work lives. It is a structured effort to enable employees at all levels in an organization to use their knowledge, skills and abilities more effectively in their work and to participate more fully in decisions about their work life.


Different views have been expressed regarding employee participation. These views range from outright rejection of the idea to religious belief that only participation will make companies productive and competitive. Labour leaders and workers while continuing to press primarily for increased economic benefits and related gains in working conditions, have become increasingly persistent in demands for more direct involvement in the decision-making processes of the companies that employ them. Politicians have allied themselves to the union for political gains. Participation has become a familiar focus of Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten political debates in a number of countries where its backers seek legislation to establish new participation formats or expand existing procedures in companies to include more participation. Some executives on the other hand have held on to the belief that worker participation has no place in the enterprise. In the light of the above McFarland (1968 p.502) tells us that the root of participative decision-making lies in the company philosophy and managerial style and in the overall organizational climate. Organizational climate as used by McFarland includes people, laws, economic and market conditions and technology. Likert and his associates who conducted elaborate research studies at the institute for social research of the University of Michigan stressed and prescribed participative group management system as universally acceptable which is characterized by high degree of trust, confidence and participation. Here there is a great deal of interaction between managers and subordinates and there is extensive upward and lateral communication. He goes further to say "The leadership and other process of the organization must be such as to insure a maximum probability that in all interaction and in all relationship, within the organization, each number in the light of his background, values, desires, and expectations will view the experience as supportive and one which builds and maintains his sense of personal worth and importance". McGregor (1960 p. 33) follows this theme by emphasizing the desirability of replacing the authoritative theory X by the more democratic participative theory Y. This theory assumes grater motivation and increase fulfilment of both individual needs and organizational goals. This theory assumes grater motivation and increase fulfilment of both individual needs and organizational goals. The individual will assume responsibility freely and easily, exercise self direction and self control. Such organization that operates on this assumption would Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten readily distribute responsibility widely among its managers and would want an individual to participate in setting goals for him and for the organization. In other words, this theory emphasizes participation management rather than management by control. Akpala (19990 p. 55) believes that MBO (Management by Objective) to a certain degree can be called a participative management system. Its operation calls for manages at any level to join with their subordinates or their superior to plan the objectives of the respective levels of management. That is, the manager and the subordinate collaborate in setting goals for the subordinate with the understanding that the extent to which these objectives are attained will be the major factor in evaluating and rewarding subordinate's performance. Lundgren (1984) says that "the intent of participation as with much leadership approach is to inspire high productivity and maintain a satisfied work force". To him, participation seeks to achieve these goals through the involvement of subordinates in the decision­making process. This concept is contingent on the presumption that participation will increase satisfaction, stimulate interest and thus provoke high productivity. Lundgren however draws attention to the varying degree of participation that can be allowed. He holds that a manager may simply invite questions with respect to a decision he has already, made; or he may allow subordinates full freedom to make decisions written to prescribed limit. He goes further to opine that participation result in decision that are perceived as being fair. This is based on the belief that everybody gets a chance to express his views and to appraise the views of others. "For a group that feels involved is more satisfied an more productive than one that does not feels involved". Globe (1972). Maslow (1943) also extended his theory of motivation to emphasize the importance of providing an organizational environment in which the individual can achieve maximum Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten self actualization. This is manifested in workers or employees performing their jobs on a daily basis, knows the taste and distaste of particular jobs, hence the problem associated with them. Therefore, they are in a better position to identify such problems, their magnitude, extent and ramification. They should therefore be allowed to make contributions towards solving such problems or where they cannot provide solutions to such problems, they should be allowed to make suggestions on how they would be solved because two heads are better than one. This is based on the fact that participation is pulling of resources (human) together, either individually or collectively, leading to identification and elimination of a particular problem or problems. Heller (1981) states that participation is the most organizational problem of our time because individual members felling of well being and their self realization are related to participation and its consequences. Kloeze, Molencamp and Reolof (1980) have suggested that participation needs to be explained in terms of degree and direction. The degree of participation in an organization explains the amount of involvement that each individual employee will have in both formulation and implementation. This will be partly determined by the way authority is delegated and also be determined by how influential the participation will be. In other words, whether the employees are truly allowed to be involved and are allowed to make decisions or whether they are merely allowed to have some input which is not fully incorporated in decision making (Pseudo-participation) depends largely on the spelt out degree of participation in that organization. Ellon (1960) describes participation as "a man's basic biological process". To him, man being a social creature seeks continuous interaction with other people, his work let alone his attitude is bound to be affected by those interactions. This is because, to a large extent, organizational procedures not only Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten impinge on his task but determine the specification of his role and responsibilities. A study was undertaken to find the effects of participation in government organization. The result of the study indicated that increase involvement in the decision-making process resulted in higher worker morale. But the productivity did not rise. The researcher Powell and Schlacter (1971) suggested that the principal reason for the lack of increase in productivity was that many of the workers were not ready to participate. According to them, the workers preferred the dependent relationship found in an authoritarian leadership style. The researchers also pointed out that it takes time for people to become involved and that when they do the very nature of their involvement which they asserted as follows: "The increasing number of relationship and interest, the development of multiple objective and the possible loss of informal leadership are factors which tends to hamper improvement in productivity". The key to effective use of participation the researchers suggested, is the "manager" being able to find out the trade-off point between participation and moral on one hand, and productivity on the other hand which gives him the best overall result. Participation they asserted is one of the most misunderstood ideas that have emerged from the field of human relations. Waldman (1986) put forth that participation of employee is praised by some, condemned by others. He opines the difference in point of view between its proponents and its critics are about as great as those between leaders of "iron curtain" countries and those of the free world when they use the term "democracy'. Some have claimed that participation of employee is the answer to organizational problems because it helps to eliminate conflicts and disagreement. Others think of participation as a form of managerial abduction. According to such critics' participation of employee is a dangerous ideal that will undermine Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten managerial prerogatives and weakens management effectiveness. McGregor et al opine that some group of managers looks at participation as a useful item in their bag of managerial tricks. To such managers, participation is a manipulation device for getting people to do what they want under conditions that delude the participators into thinking that they have had a voice in decision making. In criticizing such manager, he says that participation used in such narrow sense would be incorrect. In this view, the effective use of participation is a consequence of managerial point of view which includes confidence in the potentialities of subordinates and the desire to avoid some of the negative emphasis on personal authority. Elton Mayo realized that group activities are effective only when each individual sees his interests as parallel to those of the group. This theory conceptualized in what is generally known as the "Hawthorne Experiments". Argues that individual see themselves as part of a specific group or clan rather than members of society as a whole. Management therefore should follow this clan principle by encouraging workers to work as a group which they can identify with. Usilaner (1986 p. 73) has this to say "a remarkable thing about participation is that it encourages people to accept responsibility for an activity". This happens because participators are self involved in the group so that they want to see that what they participated in works successfully, Clearly, as individuals begin to accept responsibility for group activities, they become more interested in and receptive to team work. This is because they see it as a means of accomplishing a job for which they are responsible. Davis (1981) says that a person who is actively involved in something is naturally more committed to carrying it out on his own. Such an individual creates responsibility rather than having it forced upon him by delegation. Thus, by making him responsible, the individual gains a measure of Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten independence and dignity as a person making his own decisions though these decisions may be heavily influenced by his group environment. All other views regarding participation of employee in the workplace have revolved around these opinions with little or no variation. However, time and experience have taught us that for an organization to survive in today's complex economy; it needs the support and active participation of its employees.


Leadership as defined by Packard (1989) is the process of influencing others to achieve specific objectives in specific situations. However, excluded from leadership are such unduly coercive methods as influencing people with acts of violence? Without this exclusion muggers and hostage - takers are leaders. Leadership refers to something a person accomplishes rather than to his or her personal characteristics. However, characteristics may be used to influence people. The leadership definition presented in this context implies that leader has a sense of direction and the effectiveness of one's attempts to influence is contingent upon unique situational factors. In the light of this Dubrin (1989 p. 330) states that effective organizational leaders are relatively consistent in the way they attempt to influence the behaviour of group members. The manager who makes all the major decisions in one situation is not likely to share decision making in another. Also, the manger who is considerate in one situation is not likely to be insensitive in another. He goes further to say that the relatively consistent pattern of behaviour that characterizes a leader is his or her leadership style. Although the behaviour of most managers is too complex to be described by a single style, and some managers modify their styles is still useful. The classical method of classifying leadership styles arranges Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten leadership behaviour along a continuum of the amount of authority exerted by the leader. Although the origins of this approach are over forty years old, most new approaches to leadership style are rooted in the leadership continuum which begins through the autocratic style, passes through the participative style and ends with the free-rein or democratic style. Lester Richard (1981) goes to define these concepts as Autocratic leader he says maintains most of the authority by issuing orders and telling group members what to do without consulting them. To the autocrat, the basis for leadership is formal authority. A democratic leader he states confers final authority on the group. He or she functions as a collector of opinions and takes a vote before making a decision. A participative leader, is one who shares decision making authority with the group. Participative leadership occupies enough space on the continuum to warrant it been recommended in the management literature dating back to the early 1950s. The nature of an organization determines the degree of participation. A manager does not simply choose to use, or not to use participation. In practice we find varying degrees of influence by subordinates on decisions. Participation on a specific problem may fall anywhere between two extremes: complete centralization of decision making, whereby the manager merely announces his conclusion and tries to get the subordinates to carry out the plan. The degree of participation therefore depends on (a) who initiated ideas; (b) how completely a subordinate carries out each phase of decision making-diagnosing, finding alternatives, estimating consequences, and making the choice; (c) how much weight an executive attach to the ideas he receives. The greater the initiative, the more complete the coverage, and the greater the weight assigned the higher the degree of participation. (Newman, Summer and Warren 1967 p. 534). Participation in decision making is highly Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten situational and is largely a matter of degree. It should not be thought of as single process or actively but rather a whole range of process and activities. Kloeze, Molencamp and Reolofs (1980) suggested that participation needs to be explained in terms of degree and direction. The degree of participation explains the amount of involvement that each individual employee will have both formulation and implementation. This will be part determined by the way authority is delegated and also be determined by how influential the participation will be. In other words whether the employees are truly allowed to be involved and are allowed to make decisions or either they are merely allowed to have some input which is not fully incorporated in decision making (Psedoparticipation). Elvis (1995) warns of the dangers of "pseudo participation". This is participation which looks like but is not real participation. True participation means that people can be observed to be spontaneous and free in their discussion. Benard (1992) referred to pseudo-participation as a manipulative device used by management, that is, while maintaining a theory X philosophy, they only recognize the subordinates' inputs only when they conclude with the decision they (management) have already made. According to Guest and Fatchett (1973) the situation where there is said to be sharing of decision making may be no more than a means whereby management controls the situation. The work force (employees) is allowed to "say" as long as what they say has the agreement of management. When they disagree with management, then they are taken away. For participation to effectively take place, the employee's exertion of control should always lead to management alteration or abandonment of proposed plans that affect the employees. There is much controversy over the question of how much autonomy subordinates should have in shaping own goals, as well as those of the unit in which they Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten work, and how strongly the boss should impose his or her views when it comes to goal setting with subordinates. In essence, at one extreme is the position that subordinates should be asked to set their own goals and those of their work unit. The rationale for this approach, according to its advocates, is that it motivates subordinates to do more or be more productive. At the opposite pole are those who take the view that if the boss doesn't know what to expect from subordinates, he or she shouldn't have them on the payroll and therefore should tell people what to do, and when and how to do it (Odiorne 1979, p.285) Actually, neither extreme is a universally applicable style of management, or goal setting. A research evidence indicates that the use of participative management is a discriminatory skill. In short, it shows that participative management works with some kinds of situations and followers and does not work with other kinds of situations and followers. Onuoha has this to say in the light of the above; MBO has been hailed by the advocates of "power equalization" because of the possibilities it holds for the exercise of participative management. Now it is true that participative management is perfectly acceptable as one method of goal setting in management. By Objective (MBO) system. As a system, however, management by objectives works also by autocratic or top down goal setting. The choice of which method to use, or when to mix them is determined more by the demands of the situation, especially the expectations of subordinates, than by the basic nature of the system itself. Infact the system is really neutral to such value judgement (Onuoha 1994).


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The Impact of Employee Participation in Decision Making on Organizational Productivity
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decision, employee, impact, making, organizational, participation, productivity
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Doctorate in Marketing Sunil Dharmappa (Author), 2019, The Impact of Employee Participation in Decision Making on Organizational Productivity, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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