• “Workers’ participation, may broadly be taken to cover all terms of association of workers and
their representatives with the decision-making process, ranging from exchange of information,
consultations, decisions and negotiations, to more institutionalized forms such as the presence of
workers’ member on management or supervisory boards or even management by workers
-International Labor Organisation
• “WPM is the participation resulting from the practices which increase the scope for employees’
share of influence in decision-making at different tiers of organizational hierarchy with
concomitant (related) assumption of responsibility.”
- International Institute of Labor Studies
Why to study this Concept
How it started?
"It is vital to the well-being of the industry that the workmen
should be regarded as equals with shareholders and that they
have, there- fore, every right to possess an accurate knowledge of
the transactions of the mills. If labourers are co-equal owners,
their organizations should have the same access to the
transactions of the mills as the shareholders."
- Mahatma Gandhi in 1938
• Ahmedabad Textile Industry Dispute – 1920
• Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
• Participation of Workers in Management Bill, 1990
Scope & Objectives
• To achieve industrial peace and harmony.
• To build the most dynamic Human Resources by develop internal motivation in
• To boost the morale of employees and satisfy the workers’ social and esteem
• To raise the levels of the employee production, productivity and product quality.
• To satisfy workers by making them feel, that they have their voice in the
• To give workers a better understanding of their role in the working of industry.
• To develop better mutual understanding so that the workers do not resist a
change for the betterment of the concern (e.g., introduction of work study, etc.)
• To minimize the number of grievances and therefore, industrial disputes.
• To make managing of the subordinates easy.
Forms of WPM
• Trade unions are also not taking active role in promoting participative management as
they think their significance will get less.
• Few managers consider this concept of WPM as an activity just for a formality. Actually it
has no relevance or meaning as the rule of power works everywhere. The one who has
power, knowledge, money, skill will always be right as compared to one who doesn’t.
• Employees’ participation at all level will not be successful since technology and
organisation in today’s modern world are so complex that generalised opinion does not
work rather a specialized opinion is required to get the solution.
• Employers specially in country like India where concept of employer-worker is quiet
prominent in the minds of employer due to which they are not ready to share their
power with the workers’ representative.
How to make WPM successful in INDIA
• First of all management should appreciate the scheme and accept
them in full faith.
• Workers have to be educated.
• Trade unions have to cooperate with the scheme.
• While creating an environment in the organisation for coordination of
workers and management.
Workers Participation in Indian Industries
The Aristocrat Baggage company’s suggestion scheme committee is meeting .They are listening to a report by
the secretary on the discussion that had taken place when he had been invited to attend the company’s joint
consultative meeting. One of the worker’s representatives had brought up the case of the operator Raman who
3 years before had put in an idea regarding the dispatch procedure which had turned down the suggestion
.Two years later a new dispatch manager had been appointed. Apparently a year after his appointment he
introduced what virtually amounted to the exact idea suggested by Mr. Raman. Mr. Raman was furious when
he heard about this and complained to the union leaders. He stated that his idea has been stolen and that he
will never give any new ideas under the suggestion scheme again. “it is a ramp “ he announced .some of his
workmates agreed with him. At the joint consultative meeting, the secretary had somewhat tough passage
during the heated discussion, subsequently; he had talked the matter over with the new dispatch manager
who had quite clearly not heard of Raman’s idea. In any case the situation is different now. Raman's idea could
not have been workable at that time. The suggestion scheme committee discussed the matter but failed to
take any discussion in this case.
1.What is the problem of this case?
2.Should it be mandatory for the suggestion committee to give
reasons if it turns down any suggestion by the worker?
3.How would you deal with the present situation? What steps would
you take to avoid the recurrence of such a problem in future?
4.How would you encourage the workers participate in the suggestion